Because players in the shuffle are constantly changing positions, the defense has difficulty finding a weak spot. Even an average shooter is a scoring threat, as was shown in 1960 when all five Auburn starters averaged more than 10 points per game. The defense is further confused in spotting the potential scorer because the shooter does not get the ball until he enters the shooting area. Thus there is no indication of which player is being set up until the shot is taken, as in this play from the fourth option, used to combat a switching defense.
The play starts with the 5-man facing the basket as he blocks for 3. The 3-man cuts deeper than usual to lure away 5's guard (35), who switches to 3 when he sees that 3's guard has been blocked by 5. The 3-man then cuts sharply to his right to draw his new guard (35) out of the lane. The lane is further cleared because the 4-man has changed his usual course (see diagram) and is drawing his guard up above the free-throw line.
By facing the basket before 3's guard switched to him, the 5-man automatically gained a full-step advantage. He keeps it by moving quickly down the empty lane for a pass from the 1-man. The lane was open because each man drew his guard from the shooting area.