James, the 10-year veteran who was signed to a 10-day contract Tuesday, was active for Wednesday night's game against the Los Angeles Clippers. Carlisle said he wouldn't hesitate to play the 37-year-old, who most recently averaged 18.5 points and four assists in two games with the Texas Legends of the NBA D-League.
"He'll be in uniform, so it's possible," Carlisle said. "I had my career-best game when I was signed in the morning from the CBA back in 1987, so wild things do happen."
"One thing I know about him is he's a gamer," Carlisle said. "He's got a lot of enthusiasm for the game and he's got a lot of love for the game."
Point guard play is always important, but especially against the high-octane Clippers, who feature perhaps the best player at the position in Chris Paul. Carlisle said transition defense was the key to containing the much-ballyhooed "Lob City" craze that has taken Staples Center by storm the last two years.
"You've got to get in front of Paul," Carlisle said. "You've got to find the big guys and get a body on them before they can hit the launching pad. It's challenging because these guys have great athleticism and they have a great feel for one another."
The Clippers (27-8) have the best record in the NBA and have won 24 of 25 games in which they post a higher shooting percentage than their opponents.
"A lot of it starts with working to get good shots," Carlisle said. "If you don't do a good job of moving the ball, let them get their hands involved, steal and get out, that's where the big problems are going to be."