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NBA: Raptors looking to build playoff momentum

Fred VanVleet says Toronto Raptors will be looking to get into playoff mode when they return to action at Charlotte Hornets on Friday following the All-Star break.

Toronto are 50/1 to win the NBA Championship outright.

Playoff perch within reach

The Raptors sit in seventh spot in the Eastern Conference with a 32-25 overall record and they are just half-a-game behind Boston Celtics immediately above them in the final automatic playoff place.

VanVleet, who won the championship with Toronto in 2019, earned a place on the All-Star team for the first time in his career this year and is now looking for a strong finish to the season with his team.

The 27-year-old guard is averaging 21.6 points-per-game, 7.0 assists and 4.6 rebounds - all career-highs - and he has now set his sights on a strong run in the postseason with Toronto.

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Outlining the plan

VanVleet feels the Raptors will look to fine tune their game in the weeks ahead and he believes they are genuine contenders to go all the way in a competitive East.

"Building the team up the way we've built it up, I think there's probably got to be a shift towards more playoff basketball as we get to the tail end of the season, and what that will look like," he said, via the Toronto Star.

"We'll get to some more packages. Coach [Nick Nurse] is pretty good with that, having a game plan for the season.

"You would like to start sharpening up as end of March, April comes."

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