The oldest formula for success in the NBA is to win half your road games and dominate on your home floor.

The latter has been a problem for the Mavericks for several years. We’ll get to that in a moment.

But since they are starting the 2021-22 season with two road games, it’s that part of the equation that they must address Saturday in Toronto.

Having a 1-1 trip to start the season is perfectly acceptable, even if the opener was a massive blowout loss in Atlanta. By the end of the season, 1-1 would be all that matters. There won’t be a sentence in the win-loss ledger saying that the first game was a thrashing.

On the other hand, going 0-2 on this trip would put the Mavericks perhaps not behind the 8-ball, but certainly in a position of fighting from behind until they can get their machine rolling on all cylinders.

The good news is that the Mavericks have traditionally been a good road team. They were 21-15 last season and had a winning record on the road in six of the 13 seasons when Rick Carlisle was coaching them.

At home, that was a different story. They have lost at least 14 home games in each of the last nine seasons. And two of those were shortened seasons, with one spent partly in the bubble for eight games that were at a neutral site.

So the Mavericks need a win at Toronto, which is not in the same league as Atlanta when it comes to striking fear into anybody and being a threat to cause some noise in the Eastern Conference.

Especially with Pascal Siakim out indefinitely after labrum surgery.

Coach Jason Kidd is willing to write off Game 1 as a bad night at the office. Bouncing back now becomes the key. The Mavericks were off-kilter offensively and it eventually wore down their defensive attitude, which was good in the first half.

“Any time in this league when you don’t make shots, it tends to pull away from your defense,” Kidd said. “We still got a lot to work on, but I thought there were some good positive things out there.

“It’s one game of 82. We’ll look at it and come back and get better.”

It’s not unusual for good teams to have a sour start. Brooklyn is the favorite to win the NBA championship, yet the Nets got spanked by 23 points in their opener at Milwaukee.

But there are certain things that have to happen for the Mavericks to put out a bounce-back effort against the Raptors.

First, they have to maintain their defensive intensity for more than one half. You can be supremely confident that Kidd’s No. 1 talking point to his team on Friday was to never let a bad offensive possession impact intensity on the defensive end.

Second, remember all that great rebounding the Mavericks did in the preseason? Yeah, it’s a distant memory, for sure. They were outrebounded 55-50 by the Hawks. Yes, there were a lot of rebounds to go around, but the Mavericks didn’t get their share of them. Kristaps Porzingis had just five in 29 minutes. Dwight Powell only four in 20. That won’t get it done.

Third, the Mavericks’ starters have to shoot the ball better. They were a combined 6-of-24 (25 percent) from 3-point range. Overall, it was 17-of-56 (30.4 percent) for the starters. The reserves admittedly weren’t a whole lot better. But they were better. The Mavericks are supposed to be a strong offensive team. It’s fair to expect them to light up the scoreboard Saturday and beyond.

Fourth, they have to run. Toronto plays at Boston on Friday night. Jump on them fast and mash on the gas the whole night.

As four-step programs for recovery go, that one’s not all that difficult.

But it’s like a lot of other self-help game plans.

Easier to draw up than it is to execute.

Twitter: @ESefko

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