MINNEAPOLIS — When the Minnesota Lynx were handcuffed with injuries to Seimone Augustus and Lindsay Whalen during the season, it was an unknown commodity who stepped up to contribute. Well, unknown to most people. But the Lynx knew exactly what they were getting.
Anna Cruz, who came to Minnesota in a trade with the New York Liberty, was inserted into the lineup by Minnesota head coach Cheryl Reeve and made an immediate impact. She became the floor general, guiding a Minnesota offense that finished with the fourth-best Offensive Rating (estimate of points scored per 100 possessions).
Her performances have been calm, but impactful. Her defense has been calculated and feisty. And her teammates, the ones who have relied on her when the injury bug hit, speak highly about what she adds to what was already an explosive Lynx roster.
“You can’t really say enough about her,” said veteran guard Lindsay Whalen. “We didn’t have her for maybe the first eight or nine games of the season, and then she came in instantly and provided a spark. She’s got a great heart. She plays hard every second of her life, and we all try to have that tenacity and have that wlil about her, and we all try to do that as well.”
For Cruz, the journey to this moment has been a crazy ride. Last season she was a rookie from Spain adjusting to the WNBA with the New York Liberty – a team that struggled in 2014. Now, a year later, she’s playing a major role on a team that has its sights set on a WNBA title.
“For me, it’s amazing,” Cruz stated while smiling ear to ear. “I wasn’t expecting this. The last year I was in New York and now I’m here, so it’s a big step for me. So, I will try to enjoy.”