Originally Posted by 811rv
So overlapping shoulder, elbow, wrist, pivot (plus hip, foot work?) arcs at peak would represent the optimal timing. The better timing, the smaller circle. ceteris paribus.
Well, overlapping, but sequential.
If you start one of the segments prematurely, it will start from a point "lower" on the previous segment and thus be at a disadvantage.
That said there are players who rely more on rotation and some who rely more on elbow chop. Even with one player the graphs could look different for different types of shots.
But here's an example of a player who "rounds" their throw a little bit (the dotted line) compared to a player with a better, more "linear-sharp" motion (linear, then a sharp "corner"):
You'll notice that the sequencing is not as consistent - some pieces "start" too early (either because their threshold is reached or them starting early is what helps cause the rounding), they don't have the same rate of acceleration or the same maximum speed, they don't have as sharp a "peak" or "corner," and they don't add up to the same final velocity.
P.S. Also made this graph very quickly, but so far as I can tell it's representative of what I think enough to post... hope it makes sense.