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Jayson Tatum is using 2022 as fuel against Mavericks

In 2022, the Golden State Warriors defeated the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals. Jayson Tatum played that series with a non-displaced fracture in his wrist. Boston underperformed. They failed to return to the mountain top last season, losing to the Miami Heat in seven games.

However, after a dominant 2023-24 season, the Celtics are back in the NBA Finals and currently lead the Dallas Mavericks 1-0. In his postgame news conference on Thursday (June 6), Tatum discussed the motivation he and his teammates have following their inability to win a championship the last time they made it this far.

“Maybe last year, us losing in the conference finals,” Tatum said. “Maybe I just expected that after we lost in 2022 that it was guaranteed that we were just going to keep coming back, and this is like our time. Last year it was just kind of a wake-up call to not take anything for granted, because you never know how many opportunities that you might have.”

The Celtics have what is arguably the most talented roster in the NBA. In the opening game of the series, they punished the Mavericks’ defense at every opportunity. They will undoubtedly lean into their floor spacing and playmaking in the coming games as they attempt to assert their dominance.

Boston will look to extend their lead over the Mavericks when the two teams face off for Game 2 on Sunday (June 9).

If Joe Mazzulla’s team can secure the victory, they will only need one win on the road to take complete control of the series. Then, the Celtics will be one step away from banishing the ghosts of 2022.

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Story originally appeared on Celtics Wire