W2W4: Demanding road stretch starts in Philly

The Mavericks better morph into road warriors.

Sixteen of the Mavs’ next 23 games are away from the American Airlines Center, starting with tonight’s meeting with the 76ers in Philadelphia. The Mavs are 2-4 on the road this season.

“It’s going to be very challenging and very demanding,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “My job is to make sure everybody understands their jobs and we do things and we do things hard with a high level of aggression and a high level of collective will.”

Records: Mavs (7-7); 76ers (8-6)

When: 6 p.m.

Where: Wells Fargo Center


Radio: ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1270 AM (Spanish)

What to watch: Will the Mavs’ shots fall? That’s obviously a key to success for every NBA team, but the Mavs take it to extremes. Their field-goal percentage differential in wins and losses (13.4 percent) is by far the largest in the NBA. The Mavs are shooting 52.3 percent in wins and 38.9 percent in losses. They are 7-0 when they shoot better than 45 percent and 0-7 when they don’t. One issue is that the Mavs allow their offensive success, or lack thereof, to affect the defensive energy.

Key matchup: Darren Collison vs. Jrue Holliday – It’s a battle of former UCLA backcourt partners. Collison, who is coming off a two-point, four-assist, four-turnover performance in the lopsided loss to the Lakers, has been wildly inconsistent for the Mavs. Holliday, who is coming off a 33-point, 13-assist in a win over the Suns, has been performing like an All-Star. The biggest challenge for the 6-foot-, 165-pound Collison will be keeping the 6-foot-4, 205-pound Holliday from dominating the game with dribble penetration.

Injuries: Mavs – PF Dirk Nowitzki (knee) is out. 76ers – C Andrew Bynum (knees) is out.

Up next: at Chicago Bulls, 7 p.m. Wednesday