Archive for the ‘Silly Posts To Help Us Cope’ Category

2014 NBA Draft Live Blog

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

Mallory and Nate will be consuming craft beer (drink responsibly) and live blogging the 2014 NBA draft.  #GoCavs

Holy cow!  I’m late.  A long trip to New Jersey to get some Great Lakes (I swear) has resulted in me being late.  But HOLY MOLY ANDREW WIGGINS!   Thoughts?

2nd Pick is (no surprise) Anth…errr Jabari Parker.  What do you guys think?  Perfect fit?  I’m glad he’s near home, at least?  Who should Philly pick?

Nate: Mallory, So I’m drinking Fat Head’s Sunshine Daydream Session ale.  You?

Mallory: I’m freezing some GLBC Wright Pils.  Lets hope it’s cold in time for me to make fun of LA.

3rd Pick is…JOEL EMBIID!  Nate is probably excited about this, because he loves broken down centers (which there are now two of in Philly…)

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CtB 2014 Mock Draft

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

Who doesn’t love a mock draft? At this point, we’ve all read dozens. Why not one more!? CtB’s mock now has 25% more mocking! For the first pick, we all got together and voted, and then we went by order of seniority to pick everyone else in a classic snake draft. Riveting, right? Aside from the 18 trades that will happen, tonight, we’re sure this is exactly how it will play out.

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#WellActually You’re Wrong to be Outraged about the Lottery

Friday, May 23rd, 2014
you-can-catch-more-flies-with-honey-than-with-vinegar-well-actually-a-study-showed-that-the-vinegar-gets-more

I promise to pen only one rant-post a season.

Let me start by saying I currently have two enormous pet peeves frequently generated by journalists/pundits.  The first is the use of the word “nuance” or “nuanced” which is code for “I am enlightened and/or reasonable enough to understand that the world isn’t black and white, there are “shades of gray” and therefore my “nuanced” discussion or analysis is superior to your opinions, which are essentially Neanderthal grunting”.

This thinly-veiled hubris is insufferable, and the phrase du jour has permeated every sector and level of journalism.  It’s one thing when the almond-milk drinkers at The Atlantic are using it; it’s another when sportswriters writing about…well sports, revert to it over and over and over.  Can we go back to talking like characters from “da Bears” sketches already?  It’s just as intelligent, only without the overwhelming smugness.

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A Bunch of Random Observations, One Liners, and Parenthetical References

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

Matthew Dellavedova has stolen our hearts. Maybe he should have been the No. 1 pick.

Could the Cavs just save themselves a lot of money and heartache by using the DraftExpress top 100 prospects list to run their draft every year?

Kyrie Irving has to be embarrassed that Matthew Dellavedova has played better defense in two games than Irving has in any game in two seasons, right?

Matty D should get a start tonight. Though, I’m not sure our perception of his defense against Washington wasn’t amplified by the fact that he was the only one playing it. Also, Randy Whitman helped more than a little.

Watching a Brown/Whitman coaching duel is like watching kindergarteners play Stratego.

Subway’s sponsorship of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire makes me more than a little queasy. <Insert Sriracha joke here>

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Sizing up the Central: The Milwaukee Bucks

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

I know you remember the game the picture above is from.  So do Dion and Andy, as they daily recollect the commitment they made to each other in this moment…”we will never let the Bucks beat us like that again”.

And they’re right; Brandon Jennings is gone.  Following up on Robert and Patrick’s looks at the Pacers and Bulls, I drew the short straw and preview Cavs versus Bucks.  On the other hand though, the Bucks were the Eastern Conference 8th seed last year; this may be the most important match-up for the young, playoff-hungry, Wine and Gold.  On to it…

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Kevin’s Pseudo-Scientific 2013-2014 Projections, Part 3!!

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Last week, an “unbiased” and “good case” view for the 2013-2014 Cavaliers season was offered through the lens of basketball-reference.com’s Win Shares data.  More so than any team in the NBA though, the spectrum of likely outcomes spans wide for Cleveland.  Built from an enticing mix of players young and / or repeatedly beset by injury, a 30-win or 50-win season is believable.  A sampling of outcomes driving the team toward another lottery trip looks like: (more…)

Kevin’s Pseudo-Scientific 2013 – 2014 Projections, Part 2!!

Friday, August 23rd, 2013

The week began with an “unbiased” projection utilizing Win Shares for the 2013-2014 Cavaliers season.  That is a fine disposition for a Monday, but heading towards the weekend, the sun shines brighter, skies are bluer; it’s time for a cheerier outlook than 41 wins.

Transitioning to a “good case” only took three adjustments.  The end result with those modified Win Shares per 48 minutes and Win Shares is:

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The Summer of Rationality

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

Hi! I’m Patrick Redford, new staff writer here at C:TB. Here is Part 3 of my discussion with Nate and Tom.

Most teams exit through out door of the offseason hopeful about their future, if not their present as well. However, it’s dark inside that ride and the sun tends to blind with contrast once you’re outside. Reality will knock a lot of teams on their butts. Prospects will stall out, contracts will go unearned, and promised successes will turn into lottery slots. This is the rule of the offseason, and the zero-sum nature of the NBA obviously prevents every team from improving this year. I have a lot of expertise in this area, having also followed the Kings for years. The last few summers featured the Maloof ship actively sinking, and as it was taking on more and more water we were told, “Don’t worry! John Salmons has come back to save us!”

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Dear Papa Noel…

Monday, December 24th, 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, everyone.  There will be no complaining today or tomorrow from anyone on the Cavs the Blog staff.  December 23rd was Festivus, and we’ve spent the better part of the last month practicing the traditional “airing of grievances,” at least as far as the Cavs are concerned.  So regardless of whether the Cavs won or lost Saturday night in Milwaukee (they won), it seems like a good time to reassess our attitude towards the team.  One of the reasons that it’s good to do this is that when we write about the team, watch the team, and dissect the team on a daily basis, it is easy to forget that these guys are human.  They have families.  They have friends.  They have dreams.  They have fears.  They have stories of tragedy.  They have stories of triumph.

One story that always sticks with me is when I was at a Cavs game several years ago, and they were asking all the Cavs’ about their favorite Christmas memory.  Zydrunas Ilgauskus’ story always stuck with me.  He said (I’m paraphrasing through the haze of memory), “My favorite memory was my rookie year in Cleveland because it was the first year that I was able to have a Christmas tree, because I grew up in the U.S.S.R.”  That story cuts through a lot of BS.  There are more important things in life and in the world than basketball.

One thing I like about the current Cavs team, is that they seem like a pretty good group of guys.  I dare you not to like some of these guys after watching this video of them visiting the Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital on December 4th.  In fact, the Cavs website is packed full of lots of great holiday moments.  For a list of some of the many charities that the Cavs support, go here.

So with the warm wishes of the holiday season in mind, we thought it would be fun to come up with a Christmas wish list for the Cavs.  In some cases it was hard to come up with something appropriate, but we tried to delve into the depths of the Cavs’ psyches to get a glimpse into what makes them tick, in order to come up with a crappy gift for each one of them.

Kevin Jones: Our most recent Cavalier addition has been relegated to lugging around basketballs, buying donuts, and generally being the butt of most of the good natured rookie ribbing.  He’ll be getting the ubiquitous Krispy Kreme gift card, for all those donuts he’ll be buying over the next few months.

Donald Sloan: According to his twitter account, Donald Sloan is wishing for tickets to the Cotton Bowl where Oklahoma is playing his alma mater, Texas A&M.  Sadly for him, the Cavs have a game that night.  In lieu of that, the elves have weaved this snazzy t-shirt, commemorating the 2013 bowl game, which should suffice.

Jon Leuer: For a history major in college, and a current NBA player, what could be a better gift than an NBA history book?  One written by Bethlehem Shoals of  FreeDarko.com, a blog that published an NBA history book, certainly seems apropos to me.  May you leave your mark in the sequel, Jon.

Samardo Samuels: The 2008 USA Today High School player of the year lists his favorite show as “Martin” and Will Smith as his favorite actor on his NBA profile.  What better item to get for a man who loves Will and Martin?  Only a commemoration one of the finest duologies by one of the great auteurs of the 21st century: that’s right, Samardo, may Santa bring you an autographed copy of the poster for Michael Bay’s Shakespeare rivaling epic: Bad Boys II.

I'm talkin' 'bout Mike Lowwwery.

Luke Walton: What better gift to give everyone’s favorite deadhead than yet another Grateful Dead boxed set?

Alonzo Gee: For the NBA’s most underrated dunker we’re asking the fat man for an all expenses paid trip to the 2013 NBA all star game to participate in the dunk contest.  We know you can do it, Alonzo.  This is going to happen.

Jeremy Pargo: So judging from his twitter pics, he’s a fan of the striped socks.  So here you go, Jeremy.  I know.  It sucks to get socks.  But these are pretty classy…

C.J. Miles: For the self proclaimed “king of video games” Santa’s trolling ebay for the rare NBA2K13 dynasty edition, which retailed for $99 when it was released and now sells for no less than $150 on ebay and other sites.  Enjoy C.J., I hope I never meet you online, because I’m terrible at that game.

Tyler Zeller, Tristan Thompson, and Kyrie Irving: For the guys that represent the most masked team in NBA history, we’re going to lobby David Stern to remove the requirement that your masks be clear and have the elves make bad@$s custom artwork to strike fear into the hearts of Cavs’ opponents.  If the elves won’t do it, then click on the pic for the guys who will.

Omri Casspi: What should we get him for Hannukah?  (I know we’re a week late).  After lots of research to come up with something appropriate, I decided to leave it up to the experts, and just get Omri a gift certificate to Lax and Mandel, which according to google and their own website, is Cleveland’s #1 Kosher Bakery.

YUM

Dion Waiters: So Dion, I uh, kind of made you a T-Shirt.  That’s right, get your own Saint Weirdo t-shirt, right here.  It’s yours, Dion.  Embrace your enigma.  Embrace your inner saint.  Embrace the weird in wine or gold.

Byron Scott: A tie from E. Marinella of Napoli, makers of some of the finest neckties in the world. I’m quite sure that would be right up Byron’s alley.  Santa, you’d better have some cash.

Zydrunas Ilgauskus: If you’ve seen him lately, you’ll notice he’s quite svelte, and that he wear’s some pretty classy sweaters.  Here’s a tasteful piece from Nordstrums, snooty department store of the west.  Pricey, but we know Z’s on the nice list.

Chris Grant: A treatise on strategy, not that he needs it.  But maybe a book on unorthodox strategy could help him take on the big boys.  But perhaps something even better, a wargame, Hannibal: Rome versus Carthage.  He and Z should stay up nights playing it.  Hint.  We’re Carthage.

Dan Gibert: What should Kris Kringle get for a man who has everything?  A coffee mug, of course.

Daniel Gibson: Don’t know what to get him.  I’m finishing this article at 3 in the morning, checking his mad twitter.  It’s incessant.  It never stops.  My personal favorites, “A turkey sandwich right now would put me in gangsta’s paradise.”  and “I was battling internally with myself and my conscious.. trying to piece it all together” but my favorite is “It’s 2:30 n the morning & I have come to the conclusion that Black folks never see Big Foot, nor do they hunt them. #ItsAWhiteThing”  I don’t know what to ask Santa to get Daniel “boobie” Gibson, so I’ll just say “thank you.”

Thank you Boobie for being positive and hardworking the entire time you’ve been in Cleveland.  I have a feeling that this might be your last Christmas in a Cavs uniform, with your contract expiring, and if it is, I just want to say, that you’ve been a joy to follow for your entire career in Cleveland.  You’ve done a ton of work in the community.  You stuck up for the whole team when LeBron tried to punk us in the comeback game.  You’ve been here since you were 20 years old, and you’ve been nothing but a class act.  You exude a mix of positivity, professionalism, and just enough fun quirkiness that you always leave me with a smile.  And you’re also responsible for my single greatest Cavs memory.  So Merry Christmas to you and your family, Mr. Gibson.  I hope Santa uses his best judgment and brings you a lifetime of happiness, and that you keep ballin’ and helping people here and around the country.  Dang.  I just got a little misty…

Anderson Varejao:  As much as I’d like to get him a spa day, I think I’d rather wish for an All Star game slot.  So if you’re listening Mike Woodson or Eric Spoelstra, you’d better be adding Andy to your squad, cause he’s the most hustlinest passinest funkylayupinest reboundingest statstuffinest center this side of Barra do Chuí (the southermnost city in Brazil), and clearly at the top of Santa’s “awesome” list.   If you don’t give him some run in Houston, Papa Noel will mess your stuff up.

Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays everyone.

Thoughts on James Harden Part III: It’s Never Too Soon to be Thinking About June.

Sunday, December 9th, 2012

Ah... Summer.

In my last installment of this series, I wrote about what the plan needs to be from here on out for the Cavs.

The Cavs have to start trying to contend in 2013-2014.
In 2013, Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson will be on the 3rd year of their rookie scale contracts, leaving two seasons for them to play before they’re eligible for extensions.  Additionally, the best dollar for dollar player in the NBA, Anderson Varejao will be on his ridiculously underpaying contract at less than $10 million a year for 2013-2015.  Further, the only salaries the Cavs have to pay next year are Andy, Dion, Irving, TT, Gee, and Zeller: the core.  This comes in at $27.6 million.  Given the cap holds for another top 5 pick, and a 15-30 pick , we can estimate a cap hold of around $5-6 million.  So, the Cavs will have a total salary of roughly $34 million.  Given a cap of $58 million, this gives the Cavs $24 million to play with.

Now that we’re in the dog days of December, and the worst part of the Cavs’ schedule, it’s nice to look ahead to a happier time when visions of all stars will be dancing in our heads.  The end of June will mark the start of NBA free agency, that lovely time when career scrubs who’ve had one good year get massively over-payed, and old vets get minimums to be player/coaches.

When I wrote the above, I did not count for the cap holds for the qualifying offers and non-guaranteed contracts of the other members of the team.  As can be seen on the link, the numbers for Casspi, Miles, Pargo, Samuels, Sloan, and Leuer add up to just over $10 million in cap room, all or any of which can be renounced.  Miles, most interestingly has a completely non-guaranteed 2013 salary which can be a nice trade chip for next year in a trade-and waive scenario.  This gives the Cavs anywhere from $14-24 million to play with depending on who they want to keep.  Remember, they MUST spend 90% of the cap, which means around $54 million total.  This means that the Cavs will need to spend a minimum of $10 million on free agents in 2013  just to get to the salary floor, and that’s if they keep all their draft picks and restricted free agents at around their qualifying offers.

I’ve written many times that the new CBA is going to change everything.  Teams over the luxury tax threshold are going to have to make hard choices about who they want to keep.  Only the mega-rich are going to be able to go well over the tax threshold for extended periods: New York, Brooklyn, L.A., and maybe Miami.  With that said, the Cavs plan should be to pluck free agents and restricted free agents from teams that are in danger of going over the luxury tax.  With that in mind, let’s start looking at the 2013 NBA free agent class.

The Max Guys:

In a word, these guys are “the balls”: the Ron Burgundys of their fields: the all stars.  They are getting max salary or close to it.  Most of these guys are going to be re-signed by their current teams, and if they’re not, the odds of them coming to Cleveland are about as high as the odds of the Browns running the table and winning the Super Bowl this year.  Players include Chris Paul, Monta Ellis, Manu Ginobili, Paul Pierce, and Dwight Howard.

There’s one player in this group who might be the longest of shots to sign with the Cavs:

Andre Iguodala: Long coveted by the Cavs, Iguodala has an early termination option that he will exercise unless he gets hurt.  He currently makes $16 million, and would be a fantastic player for the Cavs with his defense, finishing, leadership, and ability to play without the ball and run the floor.  Unfortunately it’s going to take $17 million plus per year to sign him and make Denver think twice.  Also, he’s currently sporting a 14.2 PPG/ 3.8 APG /5.2 RPG/ 1.2 Stl /13.64 PER line (the per game averages will follow this format throughout this post) which is below average efficiency.  He’s also 28 and has a game founded on athleticism and hustle.  He would be a big risk on the back end of a 4 or 5 year deal, but he would give the Cavs instant credibility, as he’s respected around the league.

The Just Below Max Guys:

Most of these could get a close to max contract if the situation worked out right for them.  These are the guys that are going to be using teams like the Cavs for leverage, and we can probably only afford one of them.

O.J. Mayo: Breakout year for him with a 20.9/3.5/3.9 19.25 PER.  The Mavericks fleeced the rest of the league signing him for a paltry $8 million over 2 years last summer.  Unfortunately for them, he will, barring injury, decline his player option for next year and hit free agency looking for a substantial increase on his $4 million dollar per year salary.  Given the future (hopefully) strength of the Cavs back-court, he would be a tough guy to commit $12 million+ per year to.  The Mavs have $44.4 in other salary commitments and they need to pay Darren Collison, so they may or not elect to keep Mayo.  Knowing Cuban, they will probably elect to re-sign mayo, but  if they bow out, there will be plenty of other suitors.

Josh Smith: A VERY intriguing player who would probably be in the max group if he was having a better year.  At 17/3.6/8.4/2 blocks 17.4 PER, he’s been coming on of late, but is shooting only 45% from the field, but a mind boggling 38% from three.  He’s a player who’s always thought he was a stretch 4, who couldn’t shoot like it, yet this year he just might be the player he’s always wanted to.  Also, 82games has him at a net of +9.3 points per 100 possesions.   Smith is 27, and probably has 1 good contract left in him, especially since he’s a player that relies on athleticism and will probably have 23,000+ minutes in his career by year’s end.  Unfortunately, he’s a bit of a head case and the longshot of longshots.  It would take the max and a major dissatisfaction with Atlanta for him to leave.  Additionally, since Atlanta has only $18 million in Salary commitments next year they’ll be able to match any offer.  They’ll be competing with the Cavs for free agents.  Danny Ferry has done an awesome job flipping the Joe Johnson albatross for flexibility.


That's right, I may make more $$ than any other player this offseason.


Al Jefferson: One of the last true centers left in the NBA, big Al has one of the most polished post games in the league.  At 17.4/2/10.7/1.2 BLK &  21 PER, he is having a very good year.  But big Al seems to have good years when his contract is up, and the worry at 27 is that this is his sign and retire deal, especially given his large size and somewhat sketchy injury history.  Given that he brings a very rare combination commodities in the NBA: size, rebounding, and a post game and already makes $15 million, he could command a very large salary of around $19 million per (the NBA max).  The Jazz have 26 Million in commitments, and a lot of holes to fill.  The choice for the Jazz will probably come down to him and…

This one's for Dani.

Paul Millsap: The #1 mentioned 2013 free agent at CtB.  At 14.6/2.6/8.2/1 BLK 18.9 per game, he has had to play a lot at the 3, given the Jazz’s crowded front court, and has stretched his game out past the 3 point line shooting 50% this year, on only 1 SPG, but 46% in general from the floor.  He’s 27 and has a game predicated on athleticism and strong shooting play and around the basket .  With decent durability, he can probably be a good get on a 4 year deal.  He would immediately move TT to the bench, and be a decent 2nd or 3rd option in the Cavs offense.  My guess is it will take about $13+ million a year to pry him away.  He or Jefferson may have to come by sign and trade.

Kevin Martin: The sharpshooter OKC acquired from Houston is currently making $12.5 million, and scoring 15.4/1.7/2.4/1.2 Stl 18PER, shooting .465/.478/.931.  He’s a lights out guy, and would not be a bad player on the Cavs, but at 29, and with the need to overpay him ($13-$14 million to get him), he’s probably not what we’re looking for, even though his offensive skills probably won’t decline too much with age.   He can play either wing position, but isn’t much of a distributor.

David West: A very solid player who at 32 (note the age, Andy trade proponents) sports a line of 17.3/2.7/8.6/1.1 BLK 20.5 PER for the Pacers.  He might be worth overpaying for 2 years to bring some professionalism to the team and work with Tristan Thompson for 2 years, especially given their similar body types.  West currently makes $10 million, and keeping this rate of pay up or even a modest raise for a couple years wouldn’t hurt the Cavs much.  I like him very much as a fall back plan for the above bigs, or even in addition through sign and trade.

Reuinted, would it feel so good?

Andrew Bynum: Who would’ve been solidly in the top tier just 5 months ago, is currently hemorrhaging future money with his knee issues and meh attitude towards basketball.  He’s currently paid $16.7 million and will probably have to sign a make good contract this off season.  If anyone gives him long term big money, he’ll sign it.  This is Gilbert Arenas in 2008 all over again.  The Cavs should RUN from giving a long term deal to a guy with Bynum’s attitude and and knee issues.  If they could take a flyer on him on a 1 year deal with a team option, he might not be a bad gamble.  It will be interesting to see how dumb teams are when it comes to Bynum.

Does it ever get old?

The Intriguing RFAs:

The restricted free agents’ current teams all have the ability to match any offer that the Cavs would give, as long as they extend the player a qualifying offer.  Large RFA offers usually really irritate the teams that own the players rights.

This is my "happy to be in Sacramento" face.

Tyreke Evans: 15.5/3.7/4.9/1.3 STL 17.85 PER is the line this year for the mercurial player from Sacramento.  2010′s rookie of the year has been trapped on the league’s most dysfunctional franchise for the last four years, and had his role shifted in the offense multiple times.  The results have been sketchy to say the least, and he’s currently battling a mysterious knee ailment.  However, he can attack the basket, play three positions, and seems desperately in need of a leader to follow.  He has a $6.9 million dollar qualifying offer that the Kings will probably extend.  Given his remarkable similarity to Iggy’s numbers, but his increased efficiency, wouldn’t he be the perfect high risk/high reward player to bring in on a front loaded contract that the Kings might think twice about matching?  Say $13 million for 2 years, dropping down to $10 million in the 3rd and a 4th year team option?  This also keeps with my plan of pissing off all the other teams by tying up their cap money in restricted free agents.

Brandon Jennings, Darren Collison, & Jeff Teague: Good players, but we don’t need another alpha point guard.  However, the fact that they’ll be taking up other teams’ time and money will be good for us.

Gerald Henderson: 13.3/1/2.7/1.3 Stl / 19.31 PER, Henderson has a $4.3 million dollar qualifying offer, and is currently a very efficient scorer, though not much else, and a lot of that is coming off an otherworldly 63.6% from 3.  He will undoubtedly regress to the mean.  But could be a high value wing.  It will probably take a $10.5  million+/per year offer for his Airness not to match, which is probably a little rich for Gerald Henderson.  Alonzo Gee is a homeless man’s Gerald Henderson at a third of that price.

Tell me he and Andy wouldn't scare you a little.

Tiago Splitter: 6’11″ 240 pound 27 year old super sub for the Spurs.  9.2/1.2/4.7 21.5 PER.  A teammate of Varejao’s on the Brazilian national team.  I’m sure Andy would love to play with him, and he’s probably due for a big pay raise.  With a $5.9 million QO, he will probably get most of the money captain Jack is making this year, stretching his salary to $9 million+.  We could probably overpay to get him at $11 million, which would make for a strange dynamic with Andy, and I’m wondering how much of his numbers are the magic of Popovic.  Still, he might be the most intriguing of the restricted free agents.

Conclusions:

Ideally, we could get one of these guys, and then one of the guys who’ll be featured at the top of Thursday’s article, ToJH (might be time to drop that since none of it is even about James Harden) Part IV: the Mid Tier Free Agents.  As for the guys on this list, my vote is to make a run at Tyreke Evans and/or Tiago Splitter.  Evans is the only quality affordable wing on this list, and a Splitter/Andy lineup would be a thing of beauty.  Tie up those teams cap money if they match, and then if that doesn’t work out, go after David West.  I like Josh Smith and I like Al Jefferson, but I think they’re simply going to cost too much money, and the odds of us getting them are too low.  Being smarter with Dan Gilbert’s money will help the Cavs trade for guys like that or pick them at pirates’ terms when they need to be traded.  As for Paul Millsap?  I think he’s fine, but the guy at the top of  Thursday’s installment in this series is an even better value.