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Utah Jazz's Top Training Camp Story Lines

Denim MillwardContributor IIIOctober 22, 2012

Utah Jazz's Top Training Camp Story Lines

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    It's that time of year, Jazz fans. 

    The dawn of the regular season for the Utah Jazz is so close, you can smell it.

    Though no games that count have been played yet, we've seen glimpses of the potential bright spots, deficiencies and intriguing story lines that appear to await the Jazz at the start of the 2012-2013 NBA regular season. 

    Whether it be stiff competition for a spot in the rotation, an unresolved playing time issue, injury updates or a certain quirky Turk, this training camp for the Utah Jazz has been a newsworthy one. 

    Here are the five most important story lines coming out of training camp for the Utah Jazz. 

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Derrick Favors vs. Paul Millsap: Who Starts?

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    It seemed by many a foregone conclusion that Derrick Favors had snagged a guaranteed starting role due to his stellar defensive play and rapidly-improving game. 

    That has not yet been the case.

    With the exception of a game in which Millsap didn't play due to not being with the team, Millsap has started every preseason game over Favors, to mixed results. 

    Offensively, Millsap's game is still light years ahead of Favors', but Derrick provides a much stronger interior defensive presence and balances the frontcourt better alongside the defense-averse Al Jefferson. 

    Time and performance will tell who gets the starting nod at power forward.  Who starts at the 4 in preseason has to be taken with a grain of salt. 

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Backup Point Guard/Earl Watson Injury

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    As Earl "The Bulldog" Watson continues his diligent rehab, significant questions have arisen on how best to handle the backup point guard situation during Watson's absence, and possibly even after he returns. 

    This preseason, the Jazz have primarily turned to Jamaal Tinsley, who continued his tradition at Utah by being solid but not awe-inspiring at the position.  Normally, when your second point guard goes down, the next man steps in and replaces him with little discussion or fanfare.

    Randy Foye and Alec Burks have made the Jazz re-examine that possibility. 

    While Foye and Burks are out there together as guards, Utah has outscored their opponents 155-102.   Due to sensational shooting by Foye recently and the knack for Burks to get to the basket and the line, Utah will have some serious questions to answer once the season begins in earnest. 

It's Raining 3s!

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    If any team has made this dramatic an improvement in a single statistical category in one season, I'd love to see it. 

    Bolstered by the addition of three of last year's top-40 three-point shooters, Utah has made the rapid ascension from three-point basement to actually leading the league thus far in the preseason. 

    Again, preseason stats should be taken with a whole shaker of salt.  We can't get too carried away with what people are doing against players who could get cut from D-League teams.

    Still, Utah's new-found weapon will rip open the frontcourt and make life much easier for Millsap, Jefferson, Favors and Kanter.  Guarding an offensive monster like Jefferson is that much harder knowing he has three great shooters waiting for a wide-open look on the perimeter. 

The Mighty Wings: Who Gets Minutes?

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    The problems of too much depth are usually great problems to have. 

    The Utah front office has the unenviable task of divvying minutes between Gordon Hayward, Marvin Williams, Randy Foye, Alec Burks and DeMarre Carroll. 

    The newest members of the Jazz, Williams and Foye, will be riding the pine for the bulk of the game.  Gordon Hayward is just now coming into his own at the ripe old age of 22, and Alec Burks has forced his name into that conversation as well. 

    Ultimately, those that play the best should get the minutes, regardless of age or experience.  I expect all the wings to play their hearts out, but ultimately, the right guys will be selected to play the bulk of the minutes. 

The Curious Case of Enes Kanter

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    The magical summer of Enes Kanter is continuing.

    Albeit against scrubs, Kanter has an increasingly impressive stat line and seems to improve in each game.  The normally chunky Kanter dropped a whopping 53 lbs in the offseason and now stands at a svelte 253 lbs. 

    Hopefully the blogs that labeled Kanter a bust are already preparing retractions as we speak. 

    Making things more remarkable is the fact that this is Kanter's sixth season playing basketball.  Not professionally, playing at all. 

    Personality-wise, Kanter hasn't changed a bit.  He lifted up his jersey to show off his legendary abs following a Utah home victory, and continues to tweet hilarious pictures of himself and will undoubtedly make a whole slew of new fans this season. 

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