By presenting a constant scoring threat from all five players, the shuffle gains several important advantages: it never lets the defense rest or double-team one player easily, because all five must be constantly guarded. Its fast but simple pass patterns can force a man-to-man defense into areas the defense does not wish to occupy, resulting in either a free offensive man or a foul. Note that the passing in this play, another in the series from the third option, follows the same 3-2-1 sequence as in the previous play, and that everyone starts running the very same routes.
The 3-man has again cut inside the 5-man, causing the defense to think he is again going straight down the free-throw lane. But, seeing that his guard (24) is dropping back into the lane, 3 cuts sharply to his right and moves above the 1-man, who has received 2's pass.
The 3-man's sudden shift has led his guard into a block by the l-man. However, if 3 is still covered, 1 can either feed 4, pass to 5 (see diagram) or, by dribbling out a few steps, can set up an overload right formation and start an entirely new play.
The 3-man shoots over a protective screen formed by the 1-man, who is rolling toward the basket for a rebound. As shown by the players' final positions on the diagram, the 1- 2- and 4-men are all in excellent position for a rebound.
CREATING AN OUTSIDE THREAT
Eaves is quick to admit that the shuffle has its drawbacks. Too much pattern movement can discourage players from free-lancing or using the fast break, both of which Eaves vigorously advocates. Also, running from the overload left or right formation can overcrowd one side of the floor and jam the play. Yet despite these dangers and its seeming repetition, the shuffle has marvelous versatility, as shown here in another play from the third option. It presents one of the many alternatives available to the 1-man once he has received the usual pass from the 2-man.
The two basic moves in the shuffle (red lines in diagram) are the cut by the 3-man and the roll by 5. When the defense sinks back to crowd 3, who was the shooter on the first two plays, 3 becomes a decoy instead. He has again drawn 5's guard into the lane, leaving 5 free as the defense reacts to the expected pass to 3.
The team's best shooter has occupied the 5-spot for this play. Like all four of his teammates, he duplicates the exact moves of the first two plays—until the 1-man omits the usual pass to 3, who has gone by him. Instead, passes to 5 who, at this point in the third option, is almost always in the open.
The 2-man sets up the same screen that kept 5 free on the first two plays, and 5 takes an easy jump shot. Thus, on all three plays, the 1-man has been able to outmaneuver the defense at the very last second. He has the option of shooting, feeding 3, 5 or 4, or dribbling out a few steps to start a new play.
TO FOIL A SWITCH