The Timberwolves recently lost a playoff series in five games, are embroiled in an ownership dispute, and are likely to be way over the salary cap next season.

Which is a reminder of the old line from your friend with the black eye: "You should see the other guy."

In the long-running and unofficial rivalry between the two most popular winter sports teams in the Twin Cities, the Timberwolves, regardless of past dysfunction or current litigation, are in vastly better shape than the Wild.

In just about every way.

Even in one way you may not think.

Whatever the Wild's failings, they could always point to their surprise run to the Western Conference finals in 2003, in their third season of existence, as a remarkable achievement and a reason for optimism.

That run also had to be embarrassing for the Wolves, because they came into existence 13 years before the Wild and at that point had yet to win a single playoff series.

Things, as they are wont to do, change.

The Wild's all-time record in playoff series is 4-13. They haven't won a playoff series since 2015.

The Timberwolves' all-time record in playoff series is 4-12. And they just won two.

The Wild have made the conference finals once. Since then, the Wolves have made the conference finals twice.

Both teams employ a wonderful young star — Kirill Kaprizov for the Wild, Anthony Edwards for the Wolves.

Kaprizov is 27 and has not won a playoff series. Edwards is 22 and has won two.

Next season, the second- and third-highest salaries on the Wolves roster will belong to Rudy Gobert, a four-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year and three-time All-Star, and Edwards, one of the league's best young players.

Next season, the second- and third-highest salaries on the Wild's roster will likely belong to Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, who, unlike the Wild, made the playoffs last season — Parise (as a late-season addition) for Colorado, Suter for Dallas.

The Wolves are run by Tim Connelly, who built a future champion in Denver and orchestrated the most impressive playoff run in franchise history this season. He's liked, respected and coveted around the league.

The Wild are run by Bill Guerin. Guerin, like Connelly, has the guts to make bold and unpopular moves. Last season, Guerin allegedly verbally abused a popular team employee, who left the franchise.

Connelly is known for encouraging a cohesive and fun workplace atmosphere. Guerin is not.

As far as ownership, the Wolves are the talk of the NBA among teams not in the finals because of the ongoing dispute between longtime owner Glen Taylor, who also owns the Star Tribune, and prospective owners Mark Lore and Alex Rodriguez, who recently brought billionaire Mike Bloomberg into their group.

Taylor, despite his reputation for botching basketball decisions, is ideal in the Wolves' current iteration, because he defers to Connelly, doesn't mind losing money on a winner and will never threaten to move the franchise out of Minnesota.

Despite ongoing paranoia among Minnesotans about outside owners moving the franchise, there is no evidence that Lore and Rodriguez are interested in doing so, or that the league has any interest relocating a thriving franchise and giving up the payday of an expansion fee in a new NBA city.

Wild owner Craig Leipold has been a steady and friendly presence, but his past two hires for the all-important position of general manager — Paul Fenton and Guerin — have caused problems in the workplace. Leipold fired Fenton 14 months after hiring him because he was considered impossible to work with or for.

Back to playoff results.

Since the Wild made that unexpected playoff run in 2003, the Wild are 2-12 in playoff series, and the Wolves are 4-5.

Now check the rosters.

The Wild have one current All-Star (Kaprizov), and not much hope for immediate improvement unless Guerin does something magical.

The Wolves have two current All-Stars in Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns, and the reigning Defensive Player of the Year in Gobert, a second-team all-defense player in Jaden McDaniels and the Sixth Man of the Year in Naz Reid.

Chris Finch finished third in Coach of the Year voting, while the Wild changed coaches during the season.

All of these developments have led to revelatory expectations:

The Wild hope to eke into the playoffs next year.

The Wolves want to win it all.