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Toronto Raptors

The Toronto Raptors are 'going for the one seed' in the Eastern Conference, says Fred VanVleet

The Toronto Raptors have the second-best record in the Eastern Conference heading into the final stretch of the regular season.

There's quite a gap between them and the No. 1 seeded Bucks - 6.5 games currently seperate the two teams with less than 30 games to go - but Fred VanVleet says the Raptors have their eyes set on catching Giannis Antetokounmpo and Milwaukee at the top.

VanVleet and the Raptors are still keeping the big picture in mind, however, which means getting healthy ahead of the playoffs.

"Naturally, just how we're built, we want to be the one seed. We're not in the position we are in now if we don't want to be the No. 1 seed," VanVleet said, according to TSN's Josh Lewenberg.

"So, yeah, we'll go for it and we'll see where we land. I think it would take Milwaukee to take a serious fall, which you never know, might happen, hopefully. But we're going for the one seed and we'll see where we fall.

"But, I think just playing good, feeling good and getting healthy is probably slightly more important than where we end up seeding-wise. Whoever we get in that first round is going to be a tough draw. I think we learned that last year. Going forward, we're going to have to beat a good team - three good teams - to get where we want to go. And it takes a hell of a two months to get it done and luckily we know what that's going to be like so we'll be prepared.

"It's just a matter of can we go out there and get it done, so we'll see."

According to Tankathon, the Raptors have the 11th-hardest remaining schedule in the league. Fortunately for them, the Bucks are one of the teams that have a harder remaining schedule. Milwaukee still has several matchups coming against some heavy hitters, including three more meetings with the Raptors, two of which will be played in Toronto.

MORE: Breaking down Toronto's remaining schedule

Winning three straight games against a Bucks team that has only lost eight games to this point of the season is a tall task, but it's the clearest path towards the Raptors getting the No. 1 seed they are looking for.

Milwaukee isn't the only team the Raptors have to be concerned about, though. The Boston Celtics currently trail the Raptors by only 1.5 games in the standings, while the Miami Heat and Philadelphia 76ers have two of the easiest remaining schedules in the league.

Holding onto the second-best record in the Eastern Conference will be hard enough.

Toronto's chase for the No. 1 seed continues on Friday, when they host the Phoenix Suns in their first game coming out of All-Star Weekend.

The views expressed here do not represent those of the NBA or its clubs.

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