With the playoffs nearing, Iman Shumpert is nearing his rookie-season defensive tenacity. Shumpert looked like the old defensive menace in the victories over Toronto Friday and Saturday.

Shumpert had four steals and scored eight points Saturday (2 of 4 on 3-pointers). He is starting to find a greater rhythm, though still seems tentative to dunk. His 3-point shooting is improving and the Knicks are going to need Shumpert to be an impact player to have a chance at upsetting Miami.

“I was kind of mad at myself, I haven’t been getting my hands on the ball and gotten as many deflections as I want,’’ Shumpert said. “I’m trying to pick up my aggression because it picks up the excitement when I get my hand on loose balls and get out in the open floor. Because that’s what I’m supposed to be doing for this team and going into the playoffs, we’re going to need that.’’

Shumpert has yet to finish a playoff game. He tore his ACL in the third quarter in Game 1 of last season’s first-round series in Miami. He made his return in mid-January. (Derrick Rose, who tore his ACL on the same day, has yet to return.)

“It’s exciting time of year,’’ Shumpert said. “I got hurt my first time in the playoffs. I’m excited going into the playoffs.‘’

Kenyon Martin’s inspired play has been contagious, perhaps lighting a fire under Shumpert. After Martin made a block in the second quarter Saturday, Shumpert followed on the next possession with a rejection.

“We feed off of those guys — Shumpert on the perimeter, K-Mart in the paint,’’ Carmelo Anthony said.

* Seven of the Knicks’ next eight games are against playoff clubs, starting with Boston and Memphis back-to-back tomorrow and Wednesday.