CHICAGO — Doc Rivers teased that the shorthanded 76ers would play some “creative” lineups Saturday night against the Chicago Bulls. That included the group that initially took the floor, as second-year big man Paul Reed got his first career NBA start alongside Tyrese Maxey, Shake Milton, Seth Curry, and Joel Embiid.

The lineup shuffle was due to Danny Green missing his third consecutive game with hamstring tightness and Matisse Thybulle sitting out for while in health and safety protocols due to contact tracing. Tobias Harris and Isaiah Joe remain in health and safety protocols after testing positive for COVID-19 earlier this week.

Entering Saturday, Reed had played in 32 career NBA games and averaged 3.1 points and 2.4 rebounds in 6.9 minutes per game. He totaled four points and a season-high nine rebounds in Thursday’s win at Detroit. He was the G League MVP last season and played college ball at nearby DePaul.

The Sixers did welcome back reserve wing Furkan Korkmaz (wrist), who missed the Pistons game. Korkmaz and Green were at Saturday morning’s shootaround, and Rivers was hopeful during his pregame media availability that at least one would be able to play against the Bulls. When asked how they looked during the morning session, Rivers joked that the 34-year-old Green “looks old and slow” every day but that Korkmaz “looked good overall” and “if he can shoot with that hand, he’s fine.”

» READ MORE: Matisse Thybulle becomes the third Sixers player placed in the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols

Green has been out since leaving Monday’s win against Portland with his injury.

As extra reinforcements, the Sixers called up rookie guard Jaden Springer and two-way wing Aaron Henry, who had been with the G League’s Delaware Blue Coats and were scheduled to play in that team’s opener Saturday night.

“Obviously, they would rather play in the NBA,” Rivers said of Springer and Henry. “But they were probably really looking forward to playing [Saturday], so that was probably a tough call-up for them.”

Attack mode

When Maxey spearheads a Sixers transition opportunity, Rivers regularly calls out for a “double drag” from the sideline.

That prompts two Sixers frontcourt players to set consecutive ball screens at an angle for Maxey, forcing the defender to go under or over both picks in an attempt to create confusion on who to guard when one screener rolls and the other pops.

It’s a way to unlock Maxey’s blazing speed to get into the paint with the ball in his hands to finish at the rim or kick out to open shooters.

“We use it against teams depending on where they use their 5 [center],” Rivers said. “If their 5 is in a drop [coverage], we’re gonna do it all night because that means [Maxey is] going downhill. [If] the 5 helps, that’s the big sitting at the rim.”

Rivers added he still wants Maxey to primarily attack the basket even when a defender goes under the screen. Though that approach can create space for Maxey to pull up for a jumper, that’s also what the defense wants from the point guard who entered Saturday shooting 51.5% from the floor, including 34.8% from three-point distance.

“You pick and choose when you take those shots,” Rivers said. “But if you settle for them all night, the Bulls will be over there [saying], ‘Thank you very much.’ … So we want him to keep mixing it up, but if you’re just shooting because they’re going under, that’s exactly what they want you to do.”

Star sightings

Visiting NBA teams typically hold morning shootarounds at the opponent’s home arena or another private location. Saturday, in Chicago, however, the Sixers went through their morning session at a gym at a local rec center just outside of downtown.

The scene was typical for such a place on a weekend morning. A youth football game between a team wearing red jerseys called the Cardinals played one wearing blue called the Chargers on the adjacent field. Families brought their children inside the facility to partake in a variety of physical activities.

Even after the rec center’s staff attempted to clear the building ahead of the Sixers’ arrival, many got an unexpected celebrity sighting when the buses pulled up.

One young boy wearing a bright green University of Oregon sweatshirt and blue and red New York Giants beanie was particularly enthused. He pulled out his cellphone to capture video of players and staff walking in the side door.

“Doc!” he hollered as Rivers made his way into the gym.

“What’s up, Andre?” he screamed as Andre Drummond stepped down.

“Joel! What’s good, bro?” he shouted at Embiid, who acknowledged him with a point.