He showed it in the way he played Wednesday night. There was more intensity in his drives to the basket.
Rose, who was almost traded last month, scored 19 points, grabbed seven rebounds and added four assists in leading his beleaguered Knicks to 101-90 victory over the Orlando Magic.
The Knicks (25-36) have 21 games remaining and are five games out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
"I was on a Bulls team (2009-10) that waited until the 82nd game to get in the playoffs," Rose said. "Anything is possible. There are a lot of games left. Let's wait and see."
Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis scored 20 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Carmelo Anthony had 17 points and nine rebounds.
The Magic (22-39) never got closer than eight points in the second half.
Evan Fournier led Orlando with 22 points. Reserve D.J. Augustin scored 15 points and hit a pair of 3-pointers. Nikola Vucevic, who left the game limping with 1:30 remaining, finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds. He collided with Anthony chasing a rebound and left holding his knee. Aaron Gordon had 10 points.
Knicks reserve Justin Holiday scored 14 points in 16 minutes. Lance Thomas had 11 points and made four of his five shots.
The Knicks played with a defensive intensity Wednesday that was missing when they lost seven of the previous 10 games. They showed some desperation that had been missing.
"We're really picking it up defensively," Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said. "These guys always think they can get there (to the playoffs). We're trying to do things better. The intensity on the defensive end, maybe they're starting to feel good about how they can guard guys."
The Knicks shot just 42 percent (34 of 81), but they outrebounded the Magic, 50-43. They outhustled them with an 14-8 advantage in second-chance points. Orlando shot 41 percent (34 of 83).
"I don't think we played hard enough offensively," Magic coach Frank Vogel said. "We're trying to be a running team, but we didn't commit to that for 48 minutes. That's disappointing."
The Knicks led 79-67 going into the fourth quarter. Fournier hit back-to-back 3-pointers early in the third, but the Magic never got closer than eight points in the period.
"They killed us on the boards," Fournier said. "That's what they do. We were coming off two pretty good games, but running is something you have to commit to and work on every game. We didn't go that tonight."
The Knicks led 60-51 at intermission after shooting 50 percent from the field. Anthony hit back-to-back 3-pointers in the first quarter when he had 10 points, and the Knicks led by as many as 11.
Rose sparked a 8-0 run in the second quarter when the Knicks built a 50-41 lead. Porzingis, who led everyone with 14 points in the first half, hit a pair of free throws late in the second quarter for a 60-49 lead.
Fournier led the Magic with 12 points in the first half.
-- Magic F Aaron Gordon sustained a bloody nose early in the first quarter when he collided with the back of Knicks F Carmelo Anthony's head. Both players stayed in the game, but Gordon's nose had to be packed with gauze.
-- Knicks F Kristaps Porzingis, the team's second-leading scorer and rebounder, returned to action Wednesday after missing the previous two games with a sprained left ankle. In two earlier meetings with Orlando, the Knicks beat the Magic when Porzingis played and lost to the Magic when he sat out with an injury.
-- The Magic were well-rested for Wednesday's game, having the three previous days off while the Knicks played Monday night.
-- Knicks C Willy Hernangomez missed the game due to a sprained ankle.
-- Since the All-Star break, the Knicks began using more of the triangle offense favored by team president Phil Jackson. "Phil and I talk about it a lot," coach Jeff Hornacek said earlier Wednesday. "It does give you better balance."
-- Little-used Knicks reserve F Maurice Ndour sprained his ankle in the Wednesday morning shootaround and was not available for the game.