Is this year’s NBA playoff success being defined by 3-point failure?

The 3-point shot isn’t killing the grand theater of the NBA playoffs, but it’s taking down the stars, one by one. This can’t be a “make or miss” league, as the saying goes, if the misfires are most remembered.

It’s one thing to lose with some dignity, as we remember from Allen Iverson, Bernard King, Jerry West and so many others who left their postseason conquerors weary from the struggle. It’s another to belittle more than a bunch of guys missing milk bottles at the county fair.

This column’s deadline arrived before Saturday night’s Game 6 of the Boston-Miami Eastern Conference finals, but there’s no more evidence required — especially when Stephen Curry becomes just another face among the vanquished. For the greatest performers in the NBA this spring, losing a series is all about the boredom of 3-point failure.

That’s the key word, isn’t it? By its nature, the shot is designed to fail. Only six players ever made half of their 3-pointers over the course of a season, per, and with the exception of Seattle’s Detlef Schrempf in 1994-95, they were all bench players (including Steve Kerr, who did it three times). In any given year, the league average is right around 33%. If you take this shot, in other words, there’s a hell of a good chance it won’t go in.