Anna Montañana and Tasha Humphrey, the two newest Lynx, both have something to prove. Specifically, that they can play in the WNBA.
Montañana, the leading scorer on Spain's team in the 2008 Olympics and an experienced international player, was cut by Connecticut in the Sun's training camp four years ago. She was waiting for another chance.
Humphrey is playing for her third WNBA team in less than two seasons. Detroit, the Lynx's opponent tonight, took the four-time All-America at Georgia with the 11th overall pick in the 2008 draft.
The Shock traded Humphrey, a 6-3 center, to Washington on Aug. 11, 2008. The Mystics cut her after nine games this season.
Lynx coach Jen Gillom is thrilled to have both players on her bench.
"Tasha is the type of player that likes pressure," Gillom said. "When she sees that the game is on the line, she can make big shots for you."
Humphrey, signed July 17, has scored seven, 17 and 11 points in her first three games for the Lynx.
Montañana, signed Sunday, made one of two shots and had two rebounds in 15 minutes of the Lynx's 76-70 loss to Los Angeles on Tuesday.
"I think [Montañana] is going to fit in as well," Gillom said.
Roger Griffith, the Lynx executive vice president, said the team started pursuing Montañana shortly after Seimone Augustus suffered a season-ending knee injury June 17. Immigration details delayed her arrival in Minnesota, Griffith said.
Montañana averaged 14.5 points in the Beijing Olympics and then led Ros Casares to a 25-1 record in the Spanish league.
"A player has to try everything," she said, asked about the lure of the WNBA.
"I will try to help them in whatever they want," said Montañana, a 6-1 forward. "They went me to rebound, they want me to play defense and, if they want me to score, I'll score."
Humphrey kept working out after Washington cut her, hoping another team would call her. The Lynx, she said, are a good fit for her. She has been friends with Nicky Anosike, Charde Houston and Renee Montgomery since they met playing AAU basketball in high school.
"[Humphrey] came in hungry, really wanting to prove herself in this league," Gillom said. "We got her at the right moment."
Anosike, the Lynx's captain, said it's hard on players when a friend gets cut and the team has to add another player, especially midseason. "But [the WNBA] is a business," Anosike said. "If they are not producing ..."
Griffith said the Lynx will make more roster moves if needed. "We are planning to be in the playoffs," he said. "We are planning to do very well in the playoffs."