For the third time this season, the Denver Nuggets face off against Andrew Feinstein’s favorite team, the Minnesota Timberwolves. Minnesota has the reigning rookie of the year and the presumptive one in Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns. They also have the dunk contest king, Zach LaVine. Additionally, Ricky Rubio, while a bit older than his running mates, is still only 25. Despite all this young talent drafted at or near the top of the draft (and a strong veteran presence led by Kevin Garnett), the Wolves have an identical 12-23 mark to the Nuggets.

In fact, there are some clear similarities in the way these two teams are going about their building process. They’ve both elected to have a strong veteran contingent to help show their young players how to be a professional NBA player. The major difference lies in where the Nuggets have acquired their young talent. As noted above, Minnesota has had a bevy of top of the draft picks, while the highest pick among Denver’s new youth brigade is Emmanuel Mudiay drafted in the 7th spot – who also returns tonight after a prolonged absence due to an ankle sprain. In other words, the similarities in plans doesn’t include the Nuggets doing the bottom out for multiple years path that the Wolves have chosen. In a few years, it will be interesting which path ends up bearing the most fruit.