The Basketball Shuffle Offense
How to Pick Apart a Man-to-Man Defense

I use plays like this basketball shuffle offense when I have quick players - not that it necessarily requires speed, but the play has lots of picks and cuts and works best when the movement and passing is crisp. It's a good basketball play that works well against man to man defense, and if your players are on their toes and ready to move when they are supposed to, it will open up lots of scoring opportunities for them.

The only major drawback of this play is that it isn't as simple as I'd like - players really need to understand where they are moving to and when they need to move if this is to work well. I like simple plays - the less they need to think when they are on the court, the less opportunity for my players to screw up.

But The Basketball Shuffle Offense is a great play if you have a team stacked with smaller, quicker players. Teams like this often have problems competing against larger teams, and I've used this play against such teams in the past with excellent results.

The Basketball Shuffle Offense
How it Works and Initial Scoring Options

  • Players set up as indicated in the diagram - two guards (#1 and #2), two forwards (#3 and #4), and one post man (#5) on the high post.

  • The play begins with the ball on the side (#2) and movement starts with a pass from the side to the point (#2 to #1).

  • The guard at the point immediately swings the ball to the opposite side, to the forward (#3) who has made a quick V cut to shake his man and has popped up at the wing.

  • Immediately upon passing, #2 cuts off a screen from the high post (#5) and flashes through the key looking for a return pass from #3 and the lay up.

  • If the pass to #2 isn't available, the ball stays with #3 and #2 continues through the key to set up on the baseline.
Basketball Shuffle OffenseShuffle Offense - 1st Movement

  • #5 pivots and sets a screen for #4.

  • #4 cuts off #5's screen and flashes into the key to the high post opposite #5, looking for the pass from #3.

  • #5 must remember that, as soon as he makes contact with the defense on the screen, he needs to roll out toward the basket with the defensive man on his hip, behind him.

  • #3 is looking to pass to #4 at the high post, but a secondary passing option may be #5 rolling out into the key.

Basketball Shuffle Offense 2Shuffle Offense - 2nd Movements

The Basketball Shuffle Offense
More Scoring Options

With the ball in #4's hands, there are three scoring options:

  • #4 can take the shot or drive
  • #4 can pass to #2 as #2 cuts to the hoop along the baseline
  • #4 can pass to #5 as #5 rolls down to the basket

Whichever option is chosen will depend on what the defense gives up - if the defense originally on #5 jumps to pick up #4 as he cuts through, then #5 may have a straight line to the basket; if the defense on #2 gets caught watching the play, #2 may have an easy cut along the baseline.

Basketball Shuffle Offense 3Shuffle Offense - Scoring

  • If none of these scoring options pan out, the ball should still be with #3

  • #5 steps up to the top of the key and sets a pick for #1

  • #1 cuts off #5's pick and flashes through the key, looking for the pass from #3

  • if #1 gets the pass he drives or looks to dish to #2 or #4

  • #5 moves up to the point position

Basketball Shuffle Offense 4Shuffle Offense - Scoring

The Basketball Shuffle Offense
Swinging the Ball

  • The ball is swung to the opposite side

  • #3 passes to #5 who continues to swing the pass to #1, who has swung up to the wing position after his cut through the key

  • #4 steps out and sets a pick for #3, who cuts off the pick and flashes through the key looking for a pass from #1 and a layup
Basketball Shuffle Offense 5Shuffle Offense - Swing
  • If the pass from #1 to #3 isn't available, #1 looks to the high post

  • #4 pivots and sets a pick now for #2, who cuts off the pick and flashes to the high post on the ball side

  • #1 looks to pass the ball to #2 at the high post

  • If #2 gets the ball at the high post, scoring options are the same as earlier - #2 can shoot or drive, or pass to #3 who should be cutting in along the baseline, or pass to #4 who should be rolling out to the basket

Basketball Shuffle Offense 6Shuffle Offense - Scoring 1
  • If the ball doesn't get passed in here, #2 pivots and sets a pick for #5

  • #5 cuts off the pick and flashes down the key, looking for the pass from #1 and the drive
Basketball Shuffle Offense 7Shuffle Offense - Scoring 2

The Basketball Shuffle Offense

  • If no scoring opportunity presents itself, everyone is already set in the start position - #1 and #2 have switched places, as have #3 and #4, but these positions should be interchangeable and so it shouldn't matter

  • #1 passes across to #2 and the play begins again

Basketball Shuffle Offense 8Shuffle Offense - Reset

And as the saying goes, "rinse and repeat."

With this basketball shuffle offense, it is very important that the players know when to cut. It's a really strong play and will get players free and in scoring positions, but they'll have to know the play very well.

An especially strong aspect of this offense is that it constantly works to free up players for layups. The longest shot from this play is likely to come from the foul line. With so much cutting, this play should allow smaller, quicker teams to open up the key and get the layups that they are usually denied by larger opponents.

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