Projecting the Cavs-Bulls rivalry

We run the numbers 100 times to look at the future of the Eastern Conference

Updated: August 13, 2014, 2:18 PM ET
By Bradford Doolittle | ESPN Insider

LeBron James and Derrick RoseUSA Today Sports, Getty Images LeBron James and Derrick Rose will headline what could be the NBA's most exciting new rivalry.

On Monday, we laid out some reasons the NBA's hottest new rivalry could well come from the revamped teams in Cleveland and Chicago. The Central Division rivals project to be among the handful of most-improved teams in the league this season. The Cavaliers and Bulls figure to be so much better, in fact, that they'll enter the season as heavy favorites to eventually match up in next spring's Eastern Conference finals.

It wouldn't be the first time the Cavs and Bulls have comprised one of the league's best rivalries. Chicago and Cleveland met five times in the playoffs over seven years during a period ending in 1994, with the Bulls winning each time. During LeBron James' first stint with the Cavs, there was but one playoff meeting with Chicago -- a five-game Cleveland series win in 2010.

We'll be seeing a lot of the Cavs and Bulls on national television during the next few years, but why wait? Let's burrow into just what those marquee matchups might look like, using 2014-15 SCHOENE projections and a simulation engine pitting the Cavs and Bulls against each other 100 times.