There are 12 commonly used offensive alignments. These different alignments are designed to take advantage of the strengths of a team's specific player personnel. A good offensive strategist not only knows the advantages and disadvantages of each alignment, but more importantly when to employ them. This may vary from game to game or even year to year.
Single Post, Four Out
Single Post or Four Out alignment is a favorite to use when a team has an exceptionally, good post up player since it isolates the post One-on-One near the basket.
The Single Stack alignment is used against pressure defense. Once the entry pass is successfully made, it isloates the post One-on-One.
In the Double Stack alignment two posts are used to free up shooters.
Double Post, Three Out
The Double Post or Three Out is used when a team has two good post players ("Twin Towers").
High Post, Two-Three High
The High Post alignment is used when teams do not have a big post player or when the post player is a good outside shooter. It opens up the baseline for cuts and dribble penetrations.
Open, Spread, Donut
The Open or Spread is sometimes called "Donut." This no post alignment speads the floor for cuts and dribble penetrations. Commonly used by teams without post players or at the end of the game to protect a lead.
One Four High
Four High is an excellent alignment to use against pressure defense since the point guard has four direct entry pass options.
One Four Low or Flat
One Four Low or Flat is used to isolate a ballhander One-on-One. It is commonly used at the end of a period or game.
The Mid screen alignment isolates a post player ("big")with a ballhandler ("small") in the center of the court for screen and roll action with spot up shooters in the corners.
The Horns or "V" alignment is used to create screen and roll action. In this double high post alignment the point guard can initiate the screen and roll action in either direction.
The One-Three-One is a popular alignment to use against zone defenses. It is also used to isolate the low post in high/low post feed action.
Overload places all five offensive players on one side of the court. This alignment is used primarily against zone defenses.
Now that you have see the types of offenses and alignments, take a look at the various types of defenses opponents can deploy that results in such a variety of offenses.