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Mavs' Barea punches in early as temp

Fill-in provides team with first-quarter boost and allows it to be patient with Howard

Updated: December 15, 2009, 4:02 PM ET
By Tim MacMahon | ESPNDallas.com

DALLAS -- The timetable for keeping Josh Howard in a reserve role is undetermined. Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle has no need to hurry.

J.J. Barea's success as a fill-in starter makes the patience possible. The concern for Howard's health makes it necessary.

The Mavericks pushed Howard too hard when he first returned from offseason ankle surgery, leading him to be shut down again after two-and-a-half games. Part of Carlisle's plan to avoid a repeat of that situation is to limit ...

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