Siena - record breaker and potent threat

Unlike Maccabi Tel Aviv, Montepaschi Siena has been a model of consistency this season.

Maccabi 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
Maccabi 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
Unlike Maccabi Tel Aviv, Montepaschi Siena has been a model of consistency this season. The Italian champion will be playing its third Euroleague Final Four in four seasons, but will be looking to reach the title game for the first time in the club's history. Siena set a new Italian record on Sunday, finishing the regular season with a 31-3 record after thrashing Pierrel Capo d'Orlando 101-44. In the Euroleague, Montepaschi has lost just six of 22 games, with all of its defeats coming in tricky games and only one by more than six points. Despite not having any standout star, Siena has all the pieces needed to go all the way. Playmaker Terrell McIntyre leads by example from the backcourt, averaging 13.2 points, 4.6 assists and 2.6 steals per game in 30 minutes on court. Euroleague veteran Bootsy Thornton (10.4 ppg, 2.9 rpg) starts alongside McIntyre and both are supported by Macedonian Vlado Ilievski (7.5 ppg). Siena's perimeter players will pressure Maccabi's erratic ball handlers and Tel Aviv will be in dire straits if the Italians, who led the Euroleague with 14 steals a game, succeed. Like Maccabi, Siena has also had to overcome injury problems this season, losing its leading scorer Rimantas Kaukenas nine Euroleague games into its campaign. The Lithuanian's injury forced other players to step up and they duly obliged. Kaukenas's countryman Ksistof Lavrinovic is a menace under the baskets, averaging 12.2 points and 4.2 rebounds in less than 20 minutes on court. Athletic swing-man Romain Sato (11.1 ppg, 4.4 rpg), Italian center Benjamin Eze (7.1 ppg, 4.5 rpg) and Shaun Stonerook (6.5 ppg, 5 rpg) are all key for Siena in the paint and will all have an important role to play if Montepaschi is to reach the final and possibly even clinch Italy's first title since Ettore Messina's Kinder Bologna won in 2001.