The Cleveland Cavaliers Are Simply Not An NBA Contender
The Spurs, Magic, Celtics, and Lakers have three main qualities that they share. First, they all have athletic bigs who can spread the court. The Spurs have Tim Duncan, Celtics have KG and 'Sheed, the Magic have Rashard Lewis and Dwight Howard (can't hit an outside shot, but can start his game further out than most bigs), and the Lakers have Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom. The Cavs have Zydrunas Illgauskus, however they have put him on the bench for Shaquille O'Neal and will greatly limit his playing time. Another quality the big four share is they all have bigs who can be physical inside. Andrew Bynum (Lakers), Kevin Garnett (Celtics), Kendrick Perkins (Celtics), Rasheed Wallace (Celtics), Tim Duncan (Spurs), DeJaun Blair (Spurs), Dwight Howard (Magic) Marcin Gortat (Magic) all fill these roles for the elite teams. The Cavaliers actually come closest in this one quality with the other teams by having Shaq on their roster. However, Shaq is clearly not the same and is ability to pound inside is hampered by the fact that he isn't surrounded by a power forward who can stretch the defense's bigs. The last quality these teams share is having an athletic wing who can play defense keeping their team's elite perimeter scorer from having to play defense all game. The Lakers have Ron Artest for Kobe Bryant, the Celtics have Marquis Daniels for Paul Pierce, the Magic have Matt Barnes and Mickael Pietrus for Vince Carter, and the Spurs have two wingmen who can score and play solid defense in Manu Ginobili and Richard Jefferson. The Cavaliers have LeBron who is an elite offensive and defensive threat. However, he has no one beside him to complement him on the wing. Anthony Parker and Jamario Moon were brought in to attempt to be these guys, but unless you can somehow combine their talents into one player they'll both fall short. Parker isn't a good enough defender and Moon isn't much of a shooter.
Ultimately, the Cavaliers just lack the qualities that other elite teams have. Sure, they put out the best player in the league every night and that helps them cover up some of their weaknesses. However, when playoff time comes around they'll once again be exposed for not being able to spread their floor with their bigs which will even further limit Shaq's already limited game and they'll have to depend on LeBron to create all their offense and be an elite defender to keep their defense going. In other words, the Cavs are still LeBron and bunch of misfits.