Five bold Finals predictions

Why LeBron will take home the MVP trophy, and other picks

Updated: June 12, 2012, 2:52 PM ET
By Chris Palmer | ESPN The Magazine
Kevin DurantGarrett W. Ellwood/Getty ImagesLeBron James could get the better of Kevin Durant in this series.

The NBA Finals are upon us. There isn't much longer to wait to find out how these very eventful playoffs will play out. And the guess here is that the Miami Heat will hoist the Larry O'Brien trophy after winning in seven games. But until that happens, here are five bold predictions you can count on, on the way to Miami's second title.

1. LeBron James will win Finals MVP
James has been tossing around the phrase "no regrets" pretty liberally this postseason in almost a pre-emptive way, saying he won't be affected by the onslaught of criticism that will surely come his way should Miami end its season on a loss.

But James clearly knows what's at stake. That brings me to another James-specific phrase: locked in. As in how his teammates and coaches described him after winning Game 6 against the Celtics in single-handed fashion by putting up 45 points, 15 rebounds and five assists. It's a sure bet that James will be locked in against the Thunder with a focus we've never seen from him.

Chris Palmer

ESPN the Magazine