Diagram 1 shows the starting positions of the Shuffle Offense. We do not use the terms guards, forwards and centers because every player will play every position in the Shuffle Offense. Instead we name each position. For the purpose of simplicity we have numbered each position and these will remain constant throughout our discussion of the Shuffle Offense. #1 will be the "first cutter", #2 will be the "second cutter", #3 will be the "feeder", #4 will be the "post" and #5 will be the "point" at the beginning of each sequence. We will keep the same numbers throughout the sequence so you may follow the actions of each player through the sequence. Then when we start a new sequence the numbers will start back at their original positions.
This will hold true if we start the offense on the other side of the court, as in Diagram 2.
The offensive movement called the Basic Cut is the backbone of the Shuffle Offense. To start the Basic Cut, the first cutter passes to the point. When the pass is made to the point, the feeder will jab step to the basket and then break out to the free throw line extended behind the three point line, as in Diagram 3.
The point's responsibility is to quickly swing the ball to the feeder. After the point passes the ball to the feeder, the post will step out and set a screen on the first cutter's defender. The first cutter will rub his defender off the post and cut to the basket. The first cutter reads his defender and make the proper cut off the post looking for a pass from the feeder in the lane. The first cutter may cut on either side of the post depending how his defender plays the screen (Diagram 4).
It is important to note here that the first cutter must hesitate a split second to give the feeder a chance to make a drive to the basket, especially in the case where the feeder's defender has lunged attempting to steal the pass and missed, as in Diagram 5.
Upon receiving the pass the feeder must square up to the basket and become a scoring threat. This also aids the feeder in making the pass to the cutting first cutter in the lane.
If the first cutter's defender drops back to the basket, the first cutter will cut over the top of the post's screen, as shown in Diagram 6.
If the first cutter's defender attempts to fight over the screen, the first cutter will walk his defender into the post screen and then make a strong backdoor cut (Diagram 7).
We have now looked at the first three scoring opportunities in the Basic Cut. They are:
The feeder looks for a quick drive to the basket.
The feeder looks for the jump shot.
The feeder then looks to pass to the first cutter on his cut through the lane for a possible layup.
We will now look at the actions of the second cutter. As the pass is made from the point to the feeder the second cutter moves up beside the post (Diagram 8).
As soon as the first cutter makes his cut off the post's screen, the second cutter follows with his own cut off the post. The second cutter will cut off the post across the lane becoming the new post. The feeder will look to pass to the second cutter in the lane or after he has reached the post position (Diagram 9).
Diagram 10 shows the final movement in the Basic cut. As the second cutter clears the post's screen the point will set a screen on the post's defender. The post will come off the point's screen looking for a pass from the feeder. The post now becomes the point. After the post has cleared the point's screen, the point cuts to the feeder position. The feeder looks to pass to the post coming into the point position, and also, keeps his eye on the point cutting to the feeder positon.
We now have seen the total Basic Cut with it's scoring opportunities.
The feeder looks to drive to the basket.
The feeder looks for the jump shot.
The feeder looks to pass to the first cutter on his cut through the lane.
The feeder looks to pass to the second cutter on his flash across the lane.
The feeder looks to pass to the post moving into the point position.
The feeder looks to pass to the point moving into the feeder position.
Diagram 11 shows the new positions of each player after the Basic Cut has been Completed. To simplify consider the following:
First Cutter -to- Second Cutter
Second Cutter -to- Post
Post -to- Point
Point -to- Feeder
Feeder -to- First Cutter
Now we will look at how each player reaches his new position:
Diagram 12 shows the first cutter becoming the second cutter.
Diagram 13 shows the second cutter becoming the post.
Diagram 14 shows the point becoming the feeder.
Diagram 15 shows the post becoming the point.
Diagram 16 shows the feeder becoming the first cutter.
THE SPLIT AND THE CORNER OPTIONS
The Split Option
To start the Split Option the first cutter passes to the post (Diagram 17).
After the first cutter passes to the post he will move toward the baseline to set a screen on the second cutter's defender. The second cutter must set his defender up for the screen by first taking him toward the basket. The defense has to honor this move. Otherwise, the second cutter only has to continue to the basket and receive a pass for a layup. The second cutter cuts off the first cutter's screen looking for a pass from the post. After the second cutter has cleared the first cutter's screen, the first cutter opens to the ball and steps to the basket. In the case of a switch by the defense the first cutter will be open for an easy shot.
As the pass goes into the post, on the weakside the feeder has moved up to set a back-screen on the point's defender. The point cuts off the feeder's screen to the feeder position. After the point has cleared the feeder's screen, the feeder pops up and becomes the new point. This weakside action serves three purposes:
(1) It could free up either player for a possible pass and score.
(2) It keeps the weakside defenders busy.
(3) In the case of a shot the point moving to the feeder position is in an excellent situation to obtain the offensive rebound as he will be more difficult to block off the boards than would a stationary player.
If the post passes to the first cutter (previous second cutter) and no shot is available the Basic Cut will now be easier to execute after the Split Option on the strong side (Diagram 19).
Most teams will allow the pass into the post in this high position, even if they are denying all perimeter passes (Diagram 20).
In the case where the post is being fronted the lob pass over the top to the post releasing to the basket is an excellent option in the Shuffle Offense. Especially, if the feeder clears by making a hard flash to the free throw line (Diagram 21).
The post in the Split Option may choose to pass out to the point. He would make this pass for one of two reasons. First, he thinks the point is open for a shot. Second, he is undable to pass to the first cutter (previous second cutter) because he is being played tough by his defender. When the post passes to the point out of the Split Option the offense immediately flows into the Basic Cut. When the post passes to the point because the first cutter is being denied, this should aid the first cutter in succesfully getting open on his cut off the post's screen (Diagram 22).
We have discussed the Basic Cut and the Split Options. The third option in the Shuffle Offense is the Corner Option. The Corner Option starts when the first cutter passes to the second cutter. This pass will usually be made because the pass to the point is being denied.
As the first cutter passes to the second cutter the post steps out and sets a screen on the first cutter's defender. The first cutter will cut off the post's screen to the basket. As in the Basic Cut the direction the first cutter takes off the post's screen will be determined by how the first cutter's defender is playing the screen. The second cutter will look to pass to the first cutter on his cut to the basket (Diagrams 23 & 24).
As soon as the first cutter clears the post's screen the post steps out to the first cutter position looking for a pass from the second cutter. If the first cutter does not receive a pass from the second cutter he continues through the lane to the feeder position. As the first cutter enters the lane the point flashes to the post position and the feeder moves up to the point position (Diagram 25)