The expectations for both teams are low, with few believing either team will sniff the NBA's postseason. Both teams have intriguing rookie point guards (Tyreke Evans/Stephen Curry), talented but flawed shooting guards (Kevin Martin/Monta Ellis) and promising second-year power forwards (Jason Thompson/Anthony Randolph).
But stop right there. That's where the comparison ends.
Hopefulness and positivity surround Westphal and the Kings these days, while despair and pessimism cloak Nelson and the Warriors. The two franchises are separated by just 75 miles, but there seems to be a world of difference between the two.
"I really like these young players," Westphal said before the Kings won their fourth straight by beating the Rockets 109-100 on Friday night at ARCO Arena. "They're hungry young kids for the most part or veterans who have been kicked around a little bit and have something to prove. They're giving everything they have. They're playing hard and playing together and it's really fun when it's like that."
The Warriors were 3,000 miles away at the time, taking care of the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. But fun is not something they're having. Stephen Jackson wants out and is making a nuisance of himself. Ellis and Nelson have under-the-surface issues that are becoming less and less under-the-surface.
The fan base is clamoring for Randolph to play more, but Nelson is reluctant and unwilling to play the kid more. But perhaps most striking is the joylessness that seems to envelope Nelson, who sits just 21 wins shy of earning the all-time mark for NBA coaching victories.
If and when Nelson does pass Lenny Wilkens' all-time record later this season, it figures to be a sad honoring. Think about it: When it happens, the Warriors are likely to be 24-40 or 24-48 or 24-55. Or, perhaps even worse, the thing could linger into next season.
On Friday in New York, Nelson admitted: "This is a difficult team to coach so far."
Yet throughout training camp and into the first week of the season, Nelson maintained he was excited about the Warriors. Few, if any, believe that. Now, there's talk that Nelson might even step down, although that seems unlikely considering he's still owed approximately $10 million of the remaining $12 million on his deal.
Nelson's critics would argue that he doesn't seem to be coaching much these days. His practices are short, and he delegates an inordinate amount of responsibility to his assistants. Assistant coach Keith Smart handles the entire defense, a responsibility given to him last season.
Nelson, 69, looks dispirited on the sidelines, the days of leaping off the bench to argue a call or shout out instruction gone. The polite way to put it is that he doesn't look engaged.
But it's not just Nelson's demeanor, it's what he's conveying with his words. He seemed to go out of his way recently to suggest that the only reason he's still coaching is because the organization begged him to stay there.
"Actually the organization wanted me to do two more years," Nelson said on Friday. "I was ready to retire after last season and so I signed on for two more years and I'm going to oblige my contract."
That's much of the issue. To Nelson, coaching right now seems like an obligation. For Westphal, it's the opposite.
"All I can say is so far, so good," Westphal said. "Everybody has embraced what we're trying to do and they're giving their best. You never know what tomorrow is going to bring in this league, but right now I don't have anything to complain about with regard to their attitudes or effort.
"It's we all want to be a part of bringing this franchise back to life in this city. The chance to be part of that and take steps in that direction and what it will look like when we finish doing that is what excites me the most."
It's hard to imagine the Warriors are excited about their future, particularly in the immediate. They're 3-5, which isn't all that bad, but consider this: The combined record of the teams they've beaten is 3-26 (Memphis, Minnesota, New York).
And now they're looking at the following stretch: at Milwaukee, at Boston, at Cleveland, Portland, at Dallas, at San Antonio, L.A. Lakers.
Meanwhile, the Kings are 5-4 and playing hard. But Westphal knows there's a thin line between success and failure, optimism and pessimism, and, yes, even he and Nelson.
"Look ... come back 40 games from now before you start talking about magic," Westphal said. "All I can say is we're having some good things happen and we hope to keep it up."
Down the road a piece, it's an entirely different story.
More Steinmetz on Twitter: @matt_steinmetz