Safe to say, that with only 24 games remaining (and the Knicks currently positioned as the ninth seed in the East), it's now or never for this current group that Mike D'Antoni has at his disposal.
It's time for him to man-up, for lack of a better phrase.
Over the course of NBA history, head coaches have often been wary of criticizing their star players and/or questioning their leadership, work ethic, shot selection, etc. For Carmelo, each of these criteria are under intense scrutiny at the moment. The problem, however, is that the scrutiny should be coming from within the organization, rather than the media.
Problem: Over the past two weeks, Anthony has talked endlessly about sharing the ball, fitting in with the offense, and making his teammates better. If simply talking about these things could impact the standings, the Knicks would be headed for home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. Alas, you actually have to practice what you preach. 'Melo doesn't make his teammates better, he still jacks up contested threes despite his horrendous three-point shooting percentage (30.8), and he refuses to hustle for loose balls and rebounds. When watching Carmelo Anthony play basketball, you sometimes question whether he actually cares about winning the game; a stark contrast to the successful superstars in the league (see: Rose, James, Durant, Bryant, etc.)
Solution: Cut the crap. D'Antoni and the rest of the Knicks' coaching staff need to stop worrying about pampering their so-called 'stars' egos and begin to correct the problem. One way to do this would be to hold a one-on-one film session with Anthony, in which contrasting game clips would be brought to his attention:
1) Iman Shumpert's tenacious on-the-ball defense vs. Melo's lackluster efforts.
2) Jared Jeffries' help defense vs. 'Melo's lack thereof.
3) Clips of everyone else on the team diving for loose balls vs. The ONE time 'Melo dove for a loose ball.*
*To be clear, I'm not actually sure that he has even dove for one loose ball all year.
These are just some of the things that could be brought up in the film session. Also, note that they only deal with defense. For all the talk of 'Melo's offensive woes, the defensive end of the floor is where the Knicks have been hurting the most since his return. During the height of Linsanity, the Knicks only gave up 90.4ppg over the course of 9 games; granted they were playing inferior opponents, but that's still 19.1 points less than they've given up with Anthony back in the lineup.
The main reason for this is that defense is known to be infectious. When the supposed leader of your team (in addition to Amar'e Stoudemire) is playing porous defense, it rubs off on everyone else - except Tyson Chandler, of course, he's immune to bad defense. Speaking of Tyson, sticking him in that film session wouldn't be a bad idea either, seeing as Mike D'Antoni isn't exactly renowned for single-handedly instilling a defensive attitude in players.
Once the defensive intensity returns for the team, so will the fast-break points, which we know to be one of the keys to a successful D'Antoni offense.