The Celtics’ 2022-23 season ended in utter disappointment, with Boston falling one win shy of the NBA Finals.

And ever since that demoralizing night in late May, Jayson Tatum has been itching to get the bad taste completely out of his mouth.

It probably was gradually subdued throughout the regular season, which saw the Celtics cruise to the Eastern Conference’s No. 1 seed and post the league’s best record. But as evidenced by a pregame exchange with Derrick White on Sunday afternoon, Tatum’s had his mind on the 2024 playoffs for a while.

“Derrick White, we are back,” Tatum said before Boston’s first-round series opener against the Miami Heat at TD Garden, as seen on ABC’s broadcast. “We waited long enough. All summer, preseason, regular season, All-Star break, Play-In Tournament. We’re back.”

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Every player on every NBA playoff team gets juiced for the postseason, but the excitement probably is through the roof on Causeway Street. Boston, led by Tatum and running mate Jaylen Brown, has everything it needs to win a championship and isn’t staring down a particularly treacherous path to the Finals.

Of course, the Celtics still need to put in the work to reach basketball’s biggest stage. Boston first will need to knock off Miami, which never can be counted out no matter how steep the odds.

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