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Three Questions with SLC Dunk about Rocket vs. Jazz

Blogger extraordinaire AllThatAmar gives us a taste of our rivals for tonight

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

I answered three questions about the Rockets for the awesome SB Nation Jazz blog SLC Dunk this afternoon. SLC's fearless leader, Amar, returned the favor.

How did Dante Exum look in the preseason? Is he going to take the league by storm?

Amar: Exum looked like a rookie in the preseason, but thankfully, an NBA rookie. At times he looked at ease and his natural instincts allowed him to make the smart play on offense and help his team out. Other times he looked frustrated, but having Chris Paul force you into 8 turn overs in a preseason game can do that. The knock on most athletic point guards is that their shooting seems to be a work in progress, but Exum showed me that the NBA three point shot is something he's going to be comfortable taking this year. The benefit of an athletic point guard is that they usually are able to combine their dribbling skills to get to the rim and be aggressive, but Dante is a little too passive here. So I guess in terms of the athletic point archetype he breaks the mold by being both ahead and behind where most of his peers should be. The only way he takes the league by storm is by making highlight plays, because behind a motivated Trey Burke he's not going to get the 20+ mpg he'd otherwise need to make an impact by doing normal things out there on the court. It's likely that the rookie wall will crush him this year too, as he played basketball all summer long from Las Vegas to the FIBA World Cup.

Who's the most likely Jazz big man combo to break through? Favors and Gobert? Favors and Kanter?

Amar: This is going to be resolved very slowly, as Quin Snyder is going to have to look at each possible combo in a very systematic and meticulous way. Derrick Favors is pretty much a lock here, but each of the normal parts around him are possibilities. The Jazz will start off with Enes Kanter (heading towards restricted free agency as of today) in a contract year with Favors. But hustling Trevor Booker is an interesting possibility has he has shown three point making range so far in the preseason. However, it's hard to deny Rudy Gobert playing time, he helps the Jazz crawl out of "the easiest team to score on" land, and into the land of maybe being only a slightly below average defensive team. All that said, my sleepers to impress people this year will be the bigman combo of Jeremy Evans and Steve Novak. They may not always get it done on the court, but that's a realty TV show I want to watch.

When will the Jazz's collection of talent start developing and turn into some wins?

Amar: *flips through the schedule . . . . * Uh, maybe March? More seriously though, wins aren't going to be something the Jazz brass are going to evaluate the 2014-15 Jazz by. The hope is that the play improves and that the players make smarter decisions on the court. It's a learning season. They're going to take their lumps. Jazz fans are more likely to see winning basketball from the players, and team; just not wins. Those will be about a season or two away.

Thanks to Amar for the responses, and be sure to check out what SLC Dunk has to say after the Rockets win tonight. We're going to post a longer question-and-answer thing with Spurs blog Pounding the Rock's editor Jolly Roger Wilco tomorrow. So heads up for that.