NBA's best set for some razzle, dazzle on All Star Weekend

Are you ready for the razzle and dazzle of the NBA All Star Weekend? The brightest and biggest show put on during the regular season, with the best of the best getting together to put their skills on display.

With three games taking place and then the skills competitions, there are plenty of talking points. We look at what you can't afford to miss on ESPN, and suggest who will emerge victorious?

World Team vs. U.S. Team - Saturday 1pm (AEDT) Live on ESPN

The BBVA Rising Stars challenge continues the trend of pitting the best first- and second-year players from around the world against the best youngsters from within the United States.

The U.S. roster is highlighted by Minnesota's Karl-Anthony Towns and Los Angeles Lakers star D'Angelo Russell, with the World Team led by the Knicks' Kirstaps Porzingis featuring Australia's own Dante Exum.

Defence tends to take a backseat during these games, and last season's game saw a combined 311 points scored with the U.S. winning by three points. The sides have split the two games to date, so the victor of this game will hold the 2-1 advantage and earn bragging rights.

ESPN Prediction: U.S. have incredible scoring potential, and should run up the numbers. 148-140

MVP Prediction: Devin Booker who will score 35+ points

Odds: World $2.20 v USA $1.67

Taco Bell Skills Challenge - Sunday NBA Skills Challenges from Midday (AEDT) Live on ESPN

One of the more enjoyable competitions to watch, pitting two players against each other on an identical course. Whoever finishes the course in the fastest time advances to the next round, and on we go until we have two finalists.

Four of the most skilled big men in the game fill out one side of the bracket with four guards on the remaining side.

Can the big men defeat the small guys for the second consecutive year?

ESPN Prediction: Isaiah Thomas to get redemption after last year's loss by defeating DeMarcus Cousins.


Three Point Contest - Sunday NBA Skills Challenges from Midday (AEDT) Live on ESPN

Another incredible field has assembled, even without the game's No. 1 shooter in Steph Curry. Australia's Patty Mills and Joe Ingles are also despite being high on the list of best shooters from beyond the arc.

Participants have 60 seconds to go through five racks of basketballs situated around the perimeter, and the three with the highest score at the end of the round advance to the championship round.

Defending champion Klay Thompson returns and 2013 winner Kyrie Irving will put his shooting touch on display.

ESPN Prediction: Eric Gordon, Klay Thompson and Wes Matthews to make the final, with Gordon emerging victorious.


Slam Dunk Contest ¬ - Sunday NBA Skills Challenges from Midday (AEDT) Live on ESPN

Last year we had one of the greatest dunk contests in history, with Aaron Gordon and Zach LaVine putting on an incredible display. LaVine is recovering from a torn ACL but Gordon returns and welcomes three new challengers: DeAndre Jordan, Glenn Robinson III and Derrick Jones Jr. Each player gets two dunks in the first round, and the two with the highest combined score advance to the final.

Can Gordon somehow emulate his remarkable efforts of last year or is an upset on the cards?

ESPN Prediction: Gordon will make the final, but don't sleep on Jones Jr.


All Star Game - Monday Midday (AEDT) Live on ESPN

The best talent in the league assembles to face off for conference superiority: The Eastern Conference lead 37-28 overall, but the West have won six of the past eight contests.

Last season saw the most points ever scored in an All Star Game, with a combined 369 put on the board; the West also posted the most points in a game by a team, with 196. The storylines surrounding the game will be endless, and everyone will be keen to see how the Kevin Durant/Russell Westbrook drama unfolds.

Will the West implode or will harmony exist among the ranks?

ESPN Prediction: Plenty of points and a game that'll go down to the wire. East just, 154-151

MVP Prediction: Russell Westbrook to go even crazier and capture third consecutive trophy.

Odds: West $1.50 v East $2.55