The Power of Threes

September 21st, 2023

Isaac Newton not only invented calculus, he also discovered how gravity works. He used those two things to calculate the movement of celestial bodies--planets around the Sun, moons around the planets. He found that he could accurately predict the motion of the Moon around the Earth using the masses of the two bodies and his gravitational constant. However, when he added the gravitational pull of the Sun on the Moon in an effort to make his calculations even more precise, he found that it made things worse. One of his best friends was Sir Edmond Halley, the man for whom the famous Comet is named. (If you want to be the smartest person in the room next time there is a discussion of astronomical phenomena, remember that Halley's name rhymes with Sally, not daily.)

Anyway, Halley saw that Newton was struggling and was amazed that the smartest man who ever lived was stumped by something. It bothered Newton for the rest of his life and is now known as the Three-Body Problem.

That has nothing really to do with basketball. I just thought somebody out there might like to learn something.

Last Sunday, we did have a crazy game centered around threes. Behind the incredible long-range shooting of Brandon Hernandez and Nick Peterson, the Gila Monsters jumped out to an 18-4 lead on Redmen. But the Redmen slowly clawed their way back into the game and a long three by Roland Ramon right before the half tied the game at 32 apiece. The game stayed tight the entire second half with three-pointers raining down on both sides. In the end, the Gila Monsters hit 12 threes, while the Redmen hit 13, enough for a 65-64 victory.