Less than two weeks before their first regular season meeting, LeBron James believes the Chicago Bulls are better than his Cleveland Cavaliers.

The two teams play Monday night in a preseason game at Ohio State University. The Cavs are calling it their most important preseason game, not just because they're facing a potential Eastern Conference rival but because James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving will start together for the first time against an NBA team.

"[The Bulls] are a team that's much better than us right now just off chemistry," James said. "They've been together for awhile, we've got a long way to go."

James has faced the Bulls in the playoffs three times in the past five years, once with the Cavs and twice with the Miami Heat. He has a long history not only against Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah but also coach Tom Thibodeau, who designed the defense against James in two playoff series when Thibodeau an assistant coach with the Boston Celtics.

The Cavs recently had a weeklong trip to Brazil where they focused on bonding. And while there's also been a focus from James and some of the veterans like Mike Miller and Shawn Marion to mentor the younger players, James freely admits the Cavs are not battle-tested like the Bulls.

And he doesn't think such chemistry will come from preseason games or team dinners.

"You've got to go through something to create a bond; that means for the worse," James said. "We've got to lose ballgames that we think we should've won, we've got to get into an argument every now and then just to test each other out."