Bulls Battle for Top Spot; Anel Pagan to Replace Beltran at Center Field

The Chicago Bulls are continuing their climb to the top spot in the Eastern Conference with their recent 105-77 victory over the Washington Wizards.

The Bulls have exceeded the expectations of the season, standing within one game of the Miami Heat and just two behind the conference-leading Celtics. This week, Derrick Rose led the Bulls with 21 points and nine assists, including a between-the-legs pass to Joakim Noah during the first quarter.

“It’s just a play that I made, but I didn’t have it pre-planned or anything, I just did it,” Rose said after the game. “When I do stuff [like that], I don’t think about it.”

Center Noah also recorded 19 points and 11 rebounds of his own. This game was just the fourth since his return after a thumb injury that had him sidelined for over two months. Luol Deng also had 21 points.


Meanwhile, Carlos Beltran of the New York Mets will be transferred from the center to the right field in order to accommodate Angel Pagan. Beltran is a five-time All Star with three Gold Glove Awards to his name as a result of his prowess in the center. He missed the entire first half of last season because of knee surgery, and played on 64 games. Pagan took on Beltran’s position in his absence, and will be keeping it when he returns, as well.

“I was just trying to do my job out there, trying to help the team as much as I could, and I guess I did it well,” Pagan said.

Beltran admitted that he still feels limited by his knee. “In my heart, I still feel that I can play center field,” he said. “But at the same time, this is not about Carlos. This is about the team.”

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