I don't really believe that there is a particular "international style" you ever need to play anyway. No two teams on the court are the same, so the essence of winning is to have more of the differences work in your favour than in the opponent's. The main thing that the international level brings is an increase in the quality of your opponents, so whatever weaknesses you have are potentially going to be exploited more.
If your opponent is huge, it doesn't mean you need to focus on fielding your biggest lineup as well. That might not play to your strengths. You might be better off finding a smaller lineup that can at least make life difficult for your opponent at one end even if it's not quite a fair fight, but be much harder for them to stop at the other end.
Look at what Japan did to us for 90% of that game. They didn't try to match up with us player-for-player, they played to their strengths.
When Paul Westhead - the "Guru of Go" - first took over from Carrie Graf as head coach of the Phoenix Mercury, they were about the slowest, whitest team in the WNBA and overnight he tried to turn them into 2016 Japan. It really did not go well at first. Over time he compromised, changed and refined his game plan, and eventually won the franchise their first title, but that process took 2 seasons and some significant personnel changes. He won that with Tangela Smith and Penny Taylor as his starting C & PF, by making more out of his team's strengths than his opponents could exploit out of its weaknesses.
Joyce seemed to be fixated on this idea of beating the USA with athleticism, which is inherently silly IMO when you consider some of the athletes running around for the USA. There's no way we can physically top that, so it's crazy to put all the eggs into that basket. (In reality the one single advantage we potentially had over the USA was Cambage, and that was due to the opposite of athleticism. It was because Cambage's size and touch could be a handful for the more athletic Griner & Fowles duo). More to the point, as I've been saying for a long time it's dumb to even focus on beating the USA as our goal in the first place. How about first making sure we even get that far. The infatuation with the USA (and by extension, our "speed") is the No.1 thing I would point to as our downfall, as it seems to be at the heart of most other things that transpired as well.
The "speed" philosophy was further brought undone by the idea that people's straight-line running speed would somehow translate into superior basketball. Those infamous metrics ... ughh... We're dealing with established basketballers here, not an AFL pre-draft camp for 17 year olds.
Where did we actually use our speed in the tournament anyway? Credit where it's due to Tessa Lavey. She's got the ball into the front court in the blink of an eye. Then what? Then nothing because she's not a finisher so she has to wait for everyone else to catch up, and then we fall into our usual offence. Defensively we can certainly harass the ball-handlers, but set one pick on us and everything turns to utter chaos. One-on-one D isn't everything, as even Martin & Lisch found out in Rio. The Boomers struggled with D at times, but the Opals struggled the entire tournament.
The other player that Joyce made a song and dance about discovering was Bec Allen, and she didn't even make the cut despite being our only young player in the last couple of years to impact the WNBA. A lot gets made of the Batkovic omission, but really I think Allen's had more impact. (I also think that the 12 we selected could still have won a silver, so the selection controversies are far from the whole problem)
Anon a couple of posts up reckons that in the absence of a suitable PF, we would have been better off playing small ball. And I think they have a fair point, too. Players like Allen & Blicavs aren't traditional international 4's, but they're both skilled and versatile players whose plusses could outweigh their minuses at that spot if used correctly. Even Jarry can play there in a pinch. Penny won a WNBA title playing there by exploiting her ability to penetrate at the other end. I'm surprised that Joyce of all people, with his focus on speed, didn't explore those avenues more.
All of that, only to discover that the whole "speed" thing was a bit of a fallacy anyway, as most of the game our offence consisted of finding ways to get Liz the ball in the paint, and was otherwise rather stagnant and lacking in purpose.
(Yes, I'm still angry about this campaign being wasted, a legend being denied a decent farewell, our ranking falling, our funding likely suffering ... these women work their arses off for very little money, so they at least deserve fair results to show for their efforts)