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Happy Chris Paul Day

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It’s the official welcome party today for Chris Paul.

NBA: Draft Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Rockets are introducing Chris Paul today at 2 p.m. CST in a press conference at the Toyota Center, officially welcoming Paul to the city and to the franchise.

With the disappointing direction the talks for Carmelo Anthony have taken over the last 24 hours, it’s easy to forget that the Rockets have already brought in one of the top players in the league to join a team that was a third seed last year out West.

That addition of another star next to James Harden cannot be understated in its importance, and to nab a player as talented as Paul gives the Rockets their first true dynamic duo since the Yao-McGrady days (sorry, Dwight Howard fans).

Having someone around to take some of the ball-handling and play creation pressure off of James Harden will be a welcome addition to a team that was missing exactly that down the stretch in the playoffs, as Harden and the Rockets ran out of gas and ran out of options once Gregg Popovich’s vaunted defense shut down the Houston secondary options.

For as good as Eric Gordon was last year, he’s still no Chris Paul, who immediately becomes option 1B in Mike D’Antoni’s high-powered attack.

Any concerns about fit and some of this “there’s only one ball” stuff is most likely unfounded, as both guys have played together on Team USA. Harden has also shown that he’s more than capable of playing off the ball when needed, and with positions in the modern NBA becoming increasingly nebulous, Harden and Paul will be doing their fair share of handling and playing off ball.

They’ll also be staggered slightly in their minutes to ensure either one or both is on the court for the Rockets at all times. These are two of the NBA’s best and most creative guards playing for one of its most offensively innovative coaches; these guys are going to make it work. It should be pick-and-roll heaven.

Paul’s said all the right things so far about needing a change from L.A. and his excitement at being in Houston, telling The Undefeated:

“It had nothing to do with who was in L.A., but more to do with who was in Houston.”

And we’ll see what more CP3 has to say today in front of the local press in just a few hours.

The press conference is the highlight of “CP3 Day” being held at the Toyota Center West Club. It’s free to the public, and the team is promising entertainers, performers, prize giveaways, and the official unveiling of Chris Paul t-shirts in the team gift shops.

The rally starts at 1:30 CST, and the CP3 press conference will be broadcast live on the Toyota Center scoreboard when it gets under way a half hour later.

The team is also offering free parking in the Tundra Garage and $1 hot dogs and nachos as an extra enticement to get a nice crowd of fans in attendance.

This is the place to discuss all things CP3-related and about today’s festivities. Let us know if anyone is planning on heading down!