Minnesota Lynx Vs. Los Angeles Sparks: Anna Cruz To Win 2nd WNBA Championship?

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Anna Cruz of Minnesota Lynx Adam Pantozzi/ Getty Images

The 2016 WNBA Finals started yesterday between the defending champions Minnesota Lynx and the Los Angeles Sparks. While Minnesota Lynx's Maya Moore and Los Angeles Candace Parker will be the focal points, a supporting cast player may be the key to the Lynx claiming a record tying fourth championship.

Anna Cruz, who plays guard, was acquired from the New York Liberty last season, contributed to the WNBA Championship last year for Minnesota, was released and resigned after the Olympics.

Cruz hails from Spain and also plays for their national team and won a silver medal at the Rio Olympics this past summer losing only to a what essentially was an All-WNBA All-Star team that represented Team USA. Picture Toni Kukoc versus the USA Dream Team in 1992 and one gets the idea of the mountain she had to climb.

She impressed coach Bill Laimbeer enough to play for the New York Liberty in 2014. Her hustle and work ethic left an impact. But Anna was traded to Minnesota where she was teamed with Maya Moore. She came off the bench as an extra weapon. But as the 2015 WNBA Finals showcased, Anna is an intelligent player and was involved at every key juncture of success. 

Her ability to shoot, penetrate in traffic, while harassing guards with her long arms and in your face defending was as much a determining factor in the Lynx championship setting up Maya Moore's heroics in the deciding game 5.

Last night, however, it was another supporting player, Alana Beard, who hit the jumper at the buzzer that gave Los Angeles a 78-76 win and a 1-0 lead in the best of five series. Cruz was relegated to only eight minutes and had only two rebounds to show for her efforts. With homecourt stolen now, the Lynx will need a repeat of the Cruz of last year and this past Olympics to give their stars the support necessary for them to do star things.

 

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