Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle has entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols, sources tell Tim MacMahon of ESPN (Twitter link).
It was reported earlier today that the Pacers canceled their practice on Thursday out of “an abundance of caution” related to the protocols — now we know why.
MacMahon also tweets that Carlisle returned a positive result for COVID-19 after a rapid test Wednesday night. Carlisle took a PCR test Thursday in order to confirm the diagnosis, but the results aren’t expected back until Friday.
If the PCR comes back positive as well, Carlisle will need to isolate for at least 10 days or until he returns two consecutive negative PCR tests a minimum of 24 hours apart.
Carlisle is unlikely to coach Friday vs. Dallas, which will be the first game against his former team this season, per James Boyd of The Indianapolis Star (Twitter link). According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (via Twitter), lead assistant coach Lloyd Pierce will serve as head coach for the Pacers while Carlisle is out.
The Pacers have three games next week that Carlisle could miss: Dec. 13 against Golden State, Dec. 15 at Milwaukee and Dec. 16 vs. Detroit. Assuming he has to isolate for 10 days, which isn’t a given, he could be eligible to return for the Dec. 21 contest at Miami.