NBA Beasts Of The Easts: Cleveland Cavaliers Edition

TJ ZwarychSenior Writer IAugust 19, 2009

ORLANDO, FL - MAY 30: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers drives to the hoop over Mickael Pietrus #20 of the Orlando Magic in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2009 Playoffs at Amway Arena on May 30, 2009 in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

This NBA season is going to be full of entertainment and I am very excited for it. Teams in both conference have done all they can to fortify themselves as serious championship contenders, and today, I am going to take a look at the Eastern Conference. The Cavaliers seem to be the powerhouse with the addition of Shaquille O'Neal and Anthony Parker, but I wouldn't be so sure as there are other teams with a serious shot of contending for the championship as well. Today's edition

Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cleveland Cavaliers seem to be near flawless this year. They have one of the best players to ever play the game in Lebron James, and finally look like they have the right pieces to help LBJ win his first Larry O'Brien trophy of his young career. The players gained by the Cavs this year far out weigh those of who they lost. The Cavs lost Ben Wallace, Wally Szczerbiak, Sasha Pavlovic and a few other minor names, but that is virtually nothing compared to the addition of Shaquille O'Neal, Anthony Parker, Jamario Moon and Leon Powe.

The addition of Jamario Moon gives the Cavs a good player who can make it so that Lebron doesn't have to play every minute of the game and there can still be a good player in there who doesn't bring the team down. Parker gives them that good starting two guard they have been looking for who should complement Mo Williams style of play very well, along with being a great defender. Powe makes it so they have two good power forwards and will have literally no drop off in ability when they have to take out Anderson Varejo to put Powe in to the game.

Obviously the biggest splash (and I mean that literally not figuratively) the Cavs made this off-season was the Big Shaqtus himself (he will probably need a new nickname now that he isn't in Phoenix) Shaquille O'Neal. Shaq is obviously a declining star, but there is no way that someone can say he won't help the Cavs. He is a completely different player than Ilgauskas, which gives the Cavs a dual threat position at center. They have a jump shooting guy who can open up things inside for Lebron inside, and they now have a legitimate post presence who can free things up for their outside shooters. Shaq also gives them that presence in the locker room, the presence of a champion.

Even though they both have big egos, Lebron and Shaq will be able to work well together because they both have one thing in mind, a championship. Shaq will be looking for his fifth and Lebron still his first. Sure Shaq has had problems with players and personnel on teams he has been with previously, but not in the first year. Shaq has two years left, tops and in the first year he always works well with his teammates.

Although as a Celtics and Raptors fan I hate to say it, but Cleveland looks like they will be the beasts of the Easts this season.