Here are a number of important points that will lead to better and more efficient ball handling:
1. Spread the fingers wide and make your hand as big as possible. This gives you more coverage and control on the basketball. It also allows your finger pads to maintain contact with the ball and keeps the ball out of the palm of your hand.
2. Dribble the ball as hard as possible. The longer the ball is in the air, the more exposed it is to the defender. By dribbling the ball hard, it stays in your hand longer and gives you more control.
3.Protect the ball at all times. Keep your free arm in an "arm bar" position; with your elbow bent and your forearm flexed and in front of the ball. Many defenders will not attempt to steal the ball or try to disrupt your dribble if you are protecting the ball.
If the defender does attempt to disrupt your dribble while you are protecting it, the defender has no access to the basketball and will get out of position when trying to get a steal or deflection. Also, the defender might pick up a cheap foul trying to come through your arm bar.
4. Keep your eyes up. See the floor. This gives you opportunities to see double teams coming and time to make the quick pass to avoid traps. You will see open teammates and be able to get them the ball at the appropriate time. This also allows you to fake out defenders with your eyes, which can freeze help-side defenders and allow you a clearer path to the basket on dribble penetration.