James was speaking prior to pre-season win over Eastern Conference rivals…
Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James has insisted that he believes the Chicago Bulls are a better team ahead of the new season based on the fact that they have been through adversity together already.
The Cavs defeated their Conference rivals 107-98 on Monday night with James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving combining to seal the win despite 30 points from Bulls point guard Derrick Rose.
However, despite their strength in depth and tag as championship favourites, the 30-year-old believes that Chicago are a better team at this stage with the Cavs still adjusting and adapting to their new team-mates and surroundings.
“[The Bulls] are a team that’s much better than us right now just off chemistry,” James said before scoring 18 points in 32 minutes.
“They’ve been together for a while; we’ve got a long way to go.”
While James has faced the Bulls in the playoffs three times in the past five seasons, it will be a completely new experience for Irving and Love with neither having tasted playoff basketball before.
James has had his fair share of battles with the likes of Rose and Joakim Noah, and he believes that the Cavs will only emerge as a championship contender after they have faced adversity and if they react well to it as a team.
The former Miami Heat star is of course speaking from experience after his initial struggles on South Beach with the team struggling to a 9-8 record to start the season in 2010. However, they then went on to win 21 of 22 games and ended up reaching the Finals, but James believes that initial struggle was a decisive factor in their success thereafter.
Cleveland have gone 4-1 in pre-season and although injuries have limited the amount of time James, Love and Irving have spent on the court together, they look a formidable outfit already.