Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

As the Los Angeles Lakers enter into a stretch of three games in four days, they do so shorthanded. LeBron James suffered a groin strain on Christmas Day and has already been ruled out for Thursday’s matchup with the Sacramento Kings.

So too was Rajon Rondo, who sustained a sprained right ring finger, also in the game against the Golden State Warriors. Both players are considered day to day with their respective injuries.

Despite early optimism with James, he could miss a decent chunk of games because of the ‘significant’ strain. With two primary ballhandlers unavailable, more figures to fall on Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram.

For Ingram, it will be a return to last season when he assumed point guard duties and flourished. Ahead of playing their first of what presumably will be a stretch of games without James and Rondo, Ingram explained how he hopes to help fill the the void, via ESPN’s Dave McMenamin:

“It’s an opportunity,” Ingram said after shootaround Thursday, leading up to the game against the Kings. “It’s an opportunity for me to go out there and play my game a little bit more. I think I’m going to be a little bit more ball dominant, cutting off the basketball. I have to play even better defense and be on the help side on the defensive end. So it’s a chance for me to just up my game a little bit.”

Ingram himself missed a combined 11 games because of suspension (four games) and a sprained left ankle. The 21-year-old is averaging 15.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game entering play Friday.

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