"It'll be based on matchups," coach Rick Carlisle said of Howard's replacement in the starting lineup. "That will vary from game to game."
Carlisle would like to keep reigning Sixth Man of the Year Jason Terry in a reserve role. However, Carlisle said Terry could start some games during the stretch without Howard, who will continue practicing while rehabbing from offseason ankle surgery.
Quinton Ross started the first four games of the season. He's a defensive-minded player with limited offensive skills.
Rookie Rodrigue Beaubois, a raw talent, started when Ross was unavailable because of a back injury in the fifth game of the season. He had nine points and an assist in 14 minutes during the loss to the New Orleans Hornets, but that was his only meaningful playing time so far.
J.J. Barea, who started 15 games last season, is another option. He'd give the Mavs another starter who can create his own shot, but he's often a defensive liability because of his size.