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2011 NBA All-Star Weekend: Dunk Contest, All-Star Game Highlights Weekend

The midway point of the NBA season is here with the 2011 All-Star weekend being upon us this weekend. Most of the 40-16 Mavericks will be resting this weekend, as Dirk Nowitzki is the club's lone representative. Still, there are a few events this weekend worth watching if you're a Mavericks fan.

The festivities kick off on Friday from the Staples Center in Los Angeles - but they are pretty low-key for the most part. As with almost every sport, there will be celebrity game to kick off the All-Star weekend. As if a celebrity game wasn't gimmicky enough, you can expect all sorts of stunts and tricks to come out since it's being broadcast on ESPN. Coverage begins at 7 PM EST.

Saturday is a bit more interesting with a few interesting competitions - the skills competition, three-point shooting competition and of course, the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest. I suspect most will only be interested in the slam dunk contest, which will feature Blake Griffin as well as DeMar DeRozan, JaVale McGee and Serge Ibaka. All of these competitions can be found on TNT beginning at 8:30 on Saturday night.

Finally, All-Star weekend is capped off with the actual All-Star game on Sunday night. As aforementioned, Dirk Nowitzki will be Dallas' only representative, and he won't be starting. The Western Conference's starting lineup consists of Tim Duncan, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant and Chris Paul - tough to really argue with those names. The All-Star game should tipoff Sunday at 8 PM EST. 

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.