When taking your defender off the dribble, too many players tend to favor the east-west route in attempting to get to the basket. In other words, they try to get to the basket by going around their defender, rather than by their defender.
Do not shy from contact when executing a move, always go north-south. Make sure your shoulder brushes your defender's shoulder when making your move. If done properly, the defender will have no chance of recovering, given that you have completely sealed him off from the play.
The great players: Michael Jordan and Isiah Thomas mastered this technique. Going too far to a defender's side gives him ample time to recover and shut off your driving lane. However, if you step directly to either his left or his right, he is left with no alternative but to watch as you get deep into the lane.